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Posted on 03-27-2017

Workplace Eye Wellness Tips From Our Oak Park Optometrist

Keeping your eyes healthy and working are sometimes at odds. There are measures you can take to protect your eyes in the workplace, but many of us forget to do so, in the rush of the typical workday. Others don’t realize that certain work activities and environments are dangerous for eye health and vision. Today our optometrist in Oak Park would like to remind everyone about the most common work-related threats to eye health--and what you can do to protect your eyesight.

eye wellness in workplace

Common Workplace Eye Risks

According to PreventBlindness.org, 2000 people injure their eyes at work each day—and 9 out of 10 of these work accidents are preventable. Here are some typical work situations that can be hazardous for your eyes, plus tips on how to avoid retinal damage, eyestrain and injury to your eyes. The first one may surprise you:

LEDs and computer screens: More of us than ever use computers as part of our jobs these days. (Even if you don’t, chances are you spend a significant amount of time daily using a mobile device or computer outside of work.) So computer eyestrain is a big problem for almost everyone. The risk actually goes well beyond simple eyestrain, however. The blue light emitted by our computer screens is HEV light (high energy short-wavelength light), which reaches deep inside the eye and is linked to retinal damage, cataracts and macular degeneration.

What to do: Protect your eyesight by taking regular breaks from your computer. Step away for a walk--or at least give eyes a break by refocusing on something far away every 20 minutes or so. Consider getting special computer glasses from our eye doctor in Oak Park that can provide some protection from blue light exposure and help you see more clearly.

Sun exposure: UV (and HEV light, which also comes from the sun) exposure can damage the eyes. Reflected sunlight is even more harmful.

What to do: If you work outdoors, wear sunglasses. Wear a hat as well, to make sure that sunlight isn’t reaching your eyes from an angle. Ask about prescription sunglasses, if you need them, at your next eye exam.

More Obvious Workplace Eye Dangers:

  • Tools used at work
  • Flying objects (glass shards, metal shavings or other sharp UFOs)
  • Airborne contaminants and particles
  • Chemicals being handled or used nearby
  • Harmful radiation (which includes UV and HEV radiation)

What to do:
Wear protective eyewear or face protection approved by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) for your type of job and workplace. Wear gloves and wash hands often, especially before touching your eyes if you work around chemicals or in healthcare. Use tools carefully and according to best practices for safety—and always wear your protective gear. Follow safety rules when handling or working near chemicals. Know what to do while at work, in case of an accident, to get proper eye care immediately.

Call Our Eye Doctor in Oak Park To Schedule Your Eye Exam Today!

An annual eye exam helps your eye doctor in Oak Park to catch any long-term work-related eye damage early so that you can take more careful prevention steps. Let your optometrist know if you suffer from computer-related eye strain, headaches or other vision problems (whether or not they're connected to your work), so we can recommend solutions to safeguard your eye health. Contact your Oak Park optometrist at Compass Eye Care for your appointment. Call us at 708-383-2150 today.

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