Workplace Eye Wellness
Are you using the right protection?
When we think of protecting our eyes, we typically think of safety glasses for construction work. However, the influx of computers in the work place creates a need for eye protection in office environments as well. There are many issues that can arise from improper computer use such as digital eyestrain, retina damage, and dry eyes. These issues can be managed through alterations to your working environment as well as special glasses to relax the muscles behind your eyes.
What does your work space look like? Is your monitor close to you so you can read it properly? Is your computer in a dimly lit section with lots of glare? Do you find yourself slouching and tilting your head back just to get comfortable? All of these factors lead to a variety of eyestrain symptoms. Thankfully, there are many steps we can take to make our eyes (and bodies) feel healthier.
- Keep your distance-Our eyes work harder when we focus on objects that are close to us. By keeping our monitor an arms length away (about 25 inches) and positioning the screen so our gaze is slightly down, our eyes and neck fall into a healthy, natural position. If this is still not enough, let us know during your next exam where one of our educated doctors can get you a specific computer prescription.
- Invest in proper lighting– When your computer screen is brighter than the surrounding area, your eyes can strain. Try brightening up the light in your work space, using a blue light filter on your computer screen, and a matte screen filter if you are getting glare.
- Keep your eyes moist– You could do this by using over the counter eye drops or by simply crying in regards to all of your numerous due dates. We would prefer it if you use eye drops but are personally familiar with tears shed due to deadlines. The drops we recommend are Systane, Blink, or Retaine NOT Visine or any other drop that is redness reducing. Redness reducing drops contain many preservatives and typically make dry eye symptoms worst.
- Your boots were made for walking!…So get up and take a break every hour. Not only does this help recover your energy (check out this article from Business Insider), it also helps your eyes relax. If you can’t make an hourly break work, you can follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Use blue light glasses– Our digital devices emit blue UV light similar to the sun. While it is not near as much, continuous use of computers, smartphones,and tablets add up. By using blue light blocking glasses, you are better able to protect your eyes from irreversible damage to your retina. Ask about them at your next visit!
Opposite of the typical office environment is the construction, warehouse, and lab environment. Every day about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job related eye injuries that require medical attention. Proper protection in these environments can help eliminate damage to our eyes. Black Diamond Eye Care carries a wide array of both prescription and non-prescription safety glasses that adhere to OSHA standards. Brands include Wiley X, Work Sight, Oakley, ArmourRX and Liberty Sport. If your company requires safety glasses, let one of our experienced opticians guide you through they type that will be best for you.