Nearly All Workplace Eye Injuries Can Be Avoided By Wearing Eye Protection

On-the-job safety goes well beyond avoiding slips, falls and heavy lifting. Caring for your
eyes should be a high priority and part of an overall workplace wellness routine. Each day, about two thousand U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. However, 90 percent of these accidents can be avoided by wearing eye protection.

Most Common Eye Injuries

Workplace eye injuries cost more than $300 million a year in lost productivity, treatment and compensation. These injuries range from simple eye strain to trauma, which may lead to permanent damage, vision loss and blindness. This is particularly true for workers in construction, manufacturing and mining. Approximately, forty percent of eye injuries in the workplace happen in these three industries.

If an eye injury does occur, an individual should seek care from an eye care professional or go to an emergency room for immediate care.

Caring for Your Eyes on the Job

Caring for your eyes on the job should not be limited to those who do physical labor, however. People who spend long hours working on a computer can experience eye discomfort. Focusing on small font type for hours on end can cause eye strain, fatigue and headaches. Staring at screens for long periods can also leave eyes parched and red, causing eyes to become dry from lack of blinking. This happens frequently as computer screens or other digital displays reduce a person’s blink rate by as much as 50 percent.

“Computer screens or other digital displays reduce a person’s blink rate by as much as 50 percent.”

Follow these tips to help avoid workplace eye injury or strain:

WEAR PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR

Ensure that your eye protection is appropriate for the type of hazard that may be present in your workplace, such as flying debris, falling objects, chemicals, intense light and heat. Your eyewear must be American National Standards Institute ANSI- approved and OSHA compliant. You must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shield or helmet if you are near hazardous radiation welding, chemicals, lasers or fiber optics.

POSITION YOUR COMPUTER 25 INCHES AWAY

If you are working on a desktop computer, try placing the monitor at an arm’s length away from your face. You may need to adjust the font size to appear larger at that distance.

FOLLOW THE 20-20-20 RULE

Eye strain and dry eye occur after long, continuous periods of viewing digital screens up close. To help alleviate this, take a break every twenty minutes by looking at an object twenty feet away for twenty seconds. Looking at a distance allows your eyes to relax and return to a regular rate of blinking again. Normally, people blink about 14 times a minute and with every blink, your eyes are lubricated with fluid that contains moisturizing elements, including oil.

REDUCE GLARE ON YOUR SMARTPHONE AND DIGITAL SCREEN

While many new phones and digital devices have glass screens with excellent picture quality, they also
produce a strong glare that can aggravate the eyes. If you use a glass screen device, adjust the low light filter setting to lower screen brightness or use a matte filter to reduce eye strain.

ADJUST ENVIRONMENTAL LIGHTING AT YOUR WORK

If your computer screen is brighter than your office surroundings, your eyes need to work harder to see. You can reduce eye strain by adjusting the lighting in your surroundings.

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Seeing. The future.

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What is a Refractive Laser Treatment?

by Lee Hofer, M.D.

The question as to whether a laser will be used in treatment of a patient’s medical conditions, has been asked for nearly thirty years of the health care professional. Many new forms of laser applications have evolved in that time and today laser devices are used in many areas of medicine, none perhaps more than in Ophthalmology.

What began years ago as laser light treatments for diabetic eye changes and glaucoma conditions, has today grown to include several additional glaucoma laser applications, skin treatments, and intraocular cataract laser usage both prior to and post cataract surgery to name a few. The highly publicized LASIK and its cohort procedure, PRK, have been used to reduce or eliminate a patient’s dependency on spectacles for 20+ years. This is the area of refractive laser surgery, where a laser application is made to the front surface of the eye, the cornea, to reshape it and compensate for the optics of the eye.

Laser treatments are done to eliminate the common forms of eye glass correction.

You either choose laser correction for distance and use reading spectacles or you wear glasses for distance and read without.

These laser treatments are done to eliminate the common forms of eye glass correction, myopia (nearsightedness), and astigmatism (shadowing of images), and in some cases hyperopia (farsightedness). While the typical need for reading glasses can be addressed, you can not have your cake and eat it too in refractive surgery. You either choose laser correction for distance and use reading spectacles or you wear glasses for distance and read without. There are some variations of this but in brief, that is the choice.

However, more and more advances are being made in the technology of intraocular lenses which are placed into an eye with each cataract surgery as a replacement lens. There exists today, types of lenses known as Premium Lenses, which can offer some patients greater independence visually from spectacles, but not necessarily complete independence. When cataract patients choose such a Premium Lens to be placed at their cataract surgery, they are hopeful of good distance vision and an additional range of intermediate and near vision, often allowing them to read much of the typical printed materials in their daily lives.

“Because these promising advances of intraocular lens technology are available, the patient that chooses such a lens is understandably hopeful for a greater range of useful vision with less spectacle need.”

While our cataract removal procedures today are more precise than ever, as are the methods of calculating the lens power to be implanted, some occasions arise where the post cataract surgery result is short of the goal. This is the situation where the Refractive Laser comes into consideration. Usually, in these situations, some basic form of common refractive error, myopia or astigmatism remain.

If, after an adequate healing period of 4-6 months, this persists, a type of laser known as an Excimer laser can be used to treat this residual refractive amount by reshaping the cornea in the same fashion that has been done for 20+ years for patients seeking independence from glasses. It is a quick procedure, taking less than ten minutes in most cases and after healing, usually within 2 weeks, noticeable visual improvement is achieved with complete recovery at 2-3 months.

The addition of this procedure to compliment or complete the cataract visual recovery process has been of great benefit to many people. When discussing cataract surgery with your eye care professional, ask them if you would be a Premium Lens candidate and after any cataract surgery, if you feel your visual outcome is short of your expectation, engage your surgeon in the discussion of whether Laser Refractive Surgery would be advisable.

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By submitting this form, you are granting: Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic , 2715 Damon Street , Eau Claire, WI, 54701, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email.

Locations

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menomonie 715.235.8335

rice lake 715.234.8444

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