Often times in the workplace, especially during the first quarter, many companies may emphasize the importance of health. Take a moment to think. What would you say if someone asked you about your health? More often than not, the conversation moves to, “I work out three times a week, I eat vegetables at most meals, I follow an 80/20 when making food choices, I don’t keep junk food in the house.” Did you consider eye health in your answer?
As you probably already know, vision is our passion. We love helping people see, it changes their lives. We love talking with patients and interacting with them on a personal level. So when I found out March was workplace vision month, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write this blog. We were so excited to help our patients protect their eyes in the workplace.
So, when we talk about vision, our major focus is on annual exams. Annual exams are the best preventative health. By using our state of the art equipment, we can prevent, detect, and identify eye diseases and treat them properly. Today, we want to focus on eye injury. Why? Because it is so important to speak for your owe health and ensure your workplace provides proper eye wear. This will protect you from injury.
According to Friends for sight, each year, nearly 25,000 Americans visit the emergency room due to a workplace eye injury. Almost 2,000 people in the U.S. injure their eyes while working every day. ER doctors treat one third of injuries in the emergency room. That means 25,000 injuries require an ER. So the number of eye injuries in the US is much higher. Unfortunately, we cannot predict and stop every eye injury. If companies follow the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommendation for eye protection, we could greatly reduce this number.
There are several things you can do to protect your eyes and maintain healthy vision. Let’s start with the majority of injuries and how they can be avoided. Most of workplace eye injuries are due to small particle abrasions in the eye or chemical splashing. Have you felt an eyelash between your contact lens and eye before? The pain is excruciating. It feels as if there is a rock scratching your eye. So to have a piece of metal, wood, cleaning product, or chemical would feel astronomical on the pain scale. Although some particles or chemicals may not result in long-term damage, it is avoidable and serious.
To prevent these types of injuries, it is important to identify what eye ware you need. Long term exposure to any particles or chemicals have a 14% chance of creating eye problems. I know you may be thinking, they are going to tell me to wear protective eye wear. Then they will try to sell me expensive prescription glasses that will protect my eyes. Before you jump to that conclusion keep in mind that according to preventblindness.org, 10-20% of the total amount of work related injuries will cause permanent vision loss and using the RIGHT EYE PROTECTION COULD DECREASE THE SEVERITY OR EVEN PREVENT IT 90% OF THE TIME. We do not want to sell you the most expensive protective lenses, we want to help you find what will properly protect your eyes from injury.
If you need a pair of protective glasses, our offices can assist you. Eye wear approved by the American Academy of Ophthalmology prevents eye injury up to 90% of the time. Different jobs require different protection based on the Bureau of Labor and American Academy of Ophthalmology. We recommend you contact either organization if you think your workplace may not be providing the appropriate gear. Their recommendations could be anything from goggles, to glasses, helmets, and even face shields.
Again, if you think this blog is over protective, ask yourself if you would be able to live a full quality of life if you were not able to see your loved ones again. Or to see the beautiful colors of spring and summer. Or the first snow fall. Vision is important! We are not just saying that because it is my passion, we are saying this because we care.
If you would like a consolation on your vision, annual appointment, or want to talk more about protecting your eyes, contact our offices today!