April 28th is World Day of Safety and Health at work.  This day is meant to bring awareness about global safety in the workplace and to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases.  The focus of this day is to remind all of us of ways to stay healthy and keep safe while performing our day-to-day activities at work.

Most people think of occupational hazards as being due to a slip or a fall.  While such an accident can be serious and preventative measures should be in place, there are also some basic precautions we can take to help minimize our risk to one of the most commonly utilized parts of our bodies: our eyes.

It is easy to forget to take care of your eyes specifically, but that doesn’t make it less important to do so.  Below are some tips you can use to ensure you are keeping your eyes safe from potential hazards.

1) Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome

Many of our jobs involve spending prolonged hours viewing a computer screen and studies show that light-induced ocular changes and fatigue are more common than ever.  The use of an anti-glare screen and/or computer glasses which block certain wavelengths can be beneficial.  Additionally, following the 20/20/20 rule of taking breaks every 20 minutes and viewing at a distance of 20 feet for 20 seconds has been shown to be beneficial in reducing eye strain.  Additionally, taking breaks while at the computer can allow the eyes to blink more frequently, thus allowing for replenishment of the ocular tear film.

2) Use protective eyewear 

Some of us may work in a dusty environment or with chemicals or other harmful substances, in which case safety glasses with side shields or goggles are recommended to prevent accidental exposure to toxins.  When working with lasers, welding, or fiber optics, special purpose safety glasses with a face shield should be used for added protection.

3) Be Mindful of Potential Hazards

Eye injuries can occur from different causes such as dust, concrete, or other particles which you may come in contact with depending on your working environment.  Some environments, such as a mining factory or a construction site, are more likely to contain these substances. In those environments protective eyewear should be worn.  Many healthcare professionals may come into contact with blood or body fluids which may have infectious components such as HIV or hepatitis.  In this case, protective eyewear, non-latex gloves, and face masks are recommended protective measures to take.  It’s also important to note that inspecting one’s work area and equipment ahead of time is helpful in preventing an accident or injury.  This can be especially helpful to those who work with heavy machinery and are at a higher risk of having a foreign body enter their eye(s).

4) Maintain regular eye examinations

To ensure your visual health, it’s a good idea to visit your eye doctor regularly. This way, we can thoroughly assess your eyes for any irregularities.  As soon as you experience any visual changes, vision loss, or eye pain while at work, seek expert advice immediately.

At Milan Eye Center, we combine our knowledge and skills to preserve your eyesight and protect your ocular health.  Feel free to call us 678-681-9834 to schedule an appointment and discuss your ocular needs.

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