Many of the 2,000 eye injuries that occur in the workplace each year, as well as cases of eye strain and mishaps in the home, can be prevented. Save Your Vision Month, observed throughout March, is a good time to start taking care of your eyes.
Start by doing something as simple as wearing eye protection when doing home improvement chores and lawn mowing. To limit eye strain, take breaks from computer and hand-held device screens to avoid eye stress.
“Healthy vision is critical to successfully completing job-related tasks,” said James Sheedy , O.D., the occupational vision specialist for the American Optometric Association. “And while most people think of construction or manufacturing as high-risk occupations where eye injuries are prevalent, even jobs requiring smartphones, laptops and desktop computers can cause vision problems if not used properly.”
Sheedy, who is also director of the Vision Ergonomics Laboratory at Pacific University, said both homeowners and workers should wear eye protection that’s correctly fitted when doing tasks in which items could become airborne and cause injury.
Rules to remember
Eye strain that results from working before electronic screens is called computer vision syndrome, which can affect both children and adults if they don’t rest their eyes during long stretches at the computer, according to AllAboutVision.com. One way to minimize CVS is to keep direct sunlight from a window from reflecting on the screen. Pull a window shade down to limit sunlight, change the position of the screen to prevent glare and avoid lamp lighting that is directly behind one’s head.
One guide to remember is the 20-20-20 rule, which means taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking away from a screen to something that’s at least 20 feet away. An AOA survey found that many people only take breaks about once an hour or less.
The AOA states that another way to minimize eye strain is to place reading material below eye level, whether it’s a magazine or a hand-held device. It’s also better to make the font larger on a smartphone or tablet rather than move the device closer to the eyes. The brightness on the screen should be at medium intensity.
An old adage that claims carrots are “eye food” has something to it. Vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes contain lots of vitamin A, which is believed to boost eye health. Taking a dietary supplement such as Omega Krill from Dr. Newton’s Naturals is another way to ensure healthy vitamins and minerals are in one’s diet.
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