Taking care of our eyes means protecting them in any environment, including our workplaces. Typically, occupations with inherent hazards, such as construction and manufacturing, come to mind when we think of eye safety. But it’s just as important for people who work in office settings to practice proper eye care, too.

In honor of Workplace Eye Wellness Month, here are some recommendations for promoting eye health at work.

Be Mindful of Screen Use

The average worker with a desk job spends seven hours a day on the computer. All this screen time can lead to digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome. This umbrella term refers to a group of eye- and vision-related issues, such as headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, and eye strain. Factors such as poor posture, glare, and improper viewing distance can contribute to the problem.

One of the simplest ways to reduce the risk of computer vision syndrome is to take breaks. Whether you work in an office or from home, it’s important to rest your eyes at routine intervals. The 20-20-20 rule, which encourages you to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes, may help. Set scheduled reminders on your phone to stay on track.

There are other ways to prevent digital eye strain, too. Adjustable office furniture can help to ensure you keep a proper viewing distance from your screen. The top of the monitor should be at or just below eye level, and the screen should be 20 to 40 inches away from your eyes.

Encourage Routine Eye Exams

The symptoms of eyestrain become worse with uncorrected vision. Plus, having refractive errors in your vision that go unaddressed (such as nearsightedness or farsightedness) can leave you at risk of other dangers caused by poor vision. It’s therefore important that all workers — no matter their industry or role — go for routine eye exams. Most adults will need a comprehensive eye exam, which includes pupil dilation, every two years. People over the age of 65 and individuals with advanced risk of eye conditions may need to see the eye doctor more frequently.

Prevent Eye Injuries

There were more than 15,700 reported eye injuries in 2020, but it’s estimated that up to 90% of work-related eye injuries could be prevented. The best way to prevent eye trauma is to always wear protective eyewear. The right gear will depend on your unique occupation. For instance, welders and people who work with fiber optics, lasers, or chemicals will need special helmets or face shields. Other workers who face risks of falling debris, flying objects, or heat, may need impact-resistant goggles. Protective eyewear should be compliant with guidelines from applicable regulatory agencies, such as OSHA.

For routine eye exams and any other eye care needs you or your staff may have, turn to Eye Consultants of Atlanta. Submit your request for an appointment online or schedule a visit by calling 404-351-2220.