During the month of March, focus is on raising awareness for Workplace Eye Wellness. Prevent Blindness is a resource for eye related issues and questions for both adults and children. This organization began in the early 1900’s to conduct research and prevent blindness in children, whenever possible. Their website offers information for safety both on and off the job.
Computers, smartphones, e-readers, and many more electronic devices are changing the way we use our eyes and to what extent we focus at close distances for long periods. According to Prevent Blindness:
"Digital screens do exposure your eyes to blue light. Blue light exposure you get from screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun. And yet, there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them. According to a recent NEI-funded study, children’s eyes absorb more blue light than adults from digital device screens.”
One common question is "can looking at digital screens cause eyestrain?” According to their website, Prevent Blindness says a variety of things can cause eyestrain including fatigue, dry eyes, bad lighting, and how you sit in front of a screen. If you have symptoms such as irritated eyes, sore eyes, difficulty focusing or changes in glasses, those could indicate eyestrain.
What can we do to prevent eyestrain? Check with your eye doctor and make sure your workplace is as healthy for your eyes as possible. Prevent Blindness also provides these tips:
- 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.
Eye health is as vital to our overall wellbeing as other health factors to which we pay attention. Unfortunately, we often take our eyes for granted until something changes or goes wrong. Use the tips above to improve your environment and keep your eyes as safe and healthy as possible.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!