March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Whether you spend hours in front of a computer or use power tools at your day job, it is always important to keep eye health and safety in mind as the gift of sight is irreplaceable.
With more and more individuals depending on technology to accomplish tasks throughout the day, the risk of eye strain and its effects on vision become greater. This increased use of digital devices exposes workers to eye strain as they tend to spend long, uninterrupted amounts of time focusing on computer screens.
All of this screen time can result in computer vision syndrome. Computer vision syndrome is a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. Symptoms can range from eye twitching to physical fatigue.
There are some things that you can do to prevent computer vision syndrome if you do spend a large portion of your day in front of a computer screen.
Utilize the 20/20/20 Rule
Take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and focus your vision on something that is 20 feet away.
Remember to blink
When working on a computer or any other electronic device for an extended amount of time, you tend to blink less often. It’s important that you do remember to blink, however, because blinking keeps your eyes moist, preventing dry eye from occurring.
Regular eye exams
The first step in preventing computer vision syndrome is to schedule a regular eye examination with your doctor. Eye exams are a great way to keep tabs on your eye health. Be sure to tell you eye doctor if you use electronic devices as part of your daily work routine.
Your eye doctor may be able to prescribe eyewear specifically designed for computer use. This eyewear can actually help alleviate eye strain when using electronic devices.
Take mini breaks
If you can, take short, frequent breaks from working on your computer. Get up, stretch, walk around, and give your eyes a rest from focusing on your screen.
If your job requires the use of heavy machinery, be sure to remember safety glasses. All it takes is a tiny sliver of metal, a particle of dust or a splash of chemical to cause significant and even permanent eye damage.