March Is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

CHICAGO— Prevent Blindness has declared March to be Workplace Eye Wellness Month, in an effort to help protect vision at work. Many occupations present hazards to the eyes, including extended use of computers and screens, and exposure to liquids, particles or flying debris, making protecting the eyes vital to keeping vision healthy. According to research by The Vision Council, about 80 percent of American adults use digital devices for more than two hours every day, and nearly 67 percent use two or more devices simultaneously.

Almost 60 percent of American adults report symptoms of digital eye strain, including dry and irritated eyes, headaches and blurred vision. In addition, some professionals have raised concern about the more long-term effects of screen exposure.

While Prevent Blindness recommends talking with a professional to minimize eye strain, they have also compiled some free tips, for Workplace Eye Wellness Month, which may make working more comfortable on the eyes. Prevent Blindness’ tips include:

  • Place your screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level.

  • Use a document holder placed next to your screen. It should be close enough so you don’t have to swing your head back and forth or constantly change your eye focus.

  • Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Glare filters over your digital screens can also help.

  • Get a chair you can adjust.

  • Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. A keyboard that you can adjust is also helpful.
  • Computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses that block blue light can help ease digital eye strain by increasing contrast.

  • Anti-reflective lenses reduce glare and increase contrast and also block blue light from digital devices.

  • In industrial workplace settings, eye protection is vital.
Prevent Blindness offers a range of fact sheets, quizzes and helpful stats and explanations to enable eyecare professionals to better communicate about these issues to patients. More information on how to properly protect eyes in many different industrial settings can be found through Prevent Blindness. Among these are a Workplace Safety Quiz, which can be adapted for social media use. Also available is helpful information for ECPs to use to explain digital eye strain.