It certainly is the digital age. More and more workers are using tablets, cell phones, and personal computers on the job. This increased usage can have a great effect on your eyes. New reports say extended use of these digital devices have caused as many as 70% of Americans to experience some sort of digital eyestrain.
Steps You Can Take
Employers and office workers can take a few simple steps to help prevent eyestrain and fatigue from digital devices.
Experts suggest the following tips to protect your eyes:
- Visit an eye doctor for a dilated eye exam to make sure you are seeing clearly and to detect any potential vision issues.
- 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 computer screen. It should be close enough that you don’t have to swing your head back and forth or constantly change your eye focus.
- Adjust the text size on the screen to a comfortable level.
- Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Glare filters over your computer screen can also help.
- Use a chair you can adjust.
- Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. A keyboard that you can adjust also is helpful.
You may also want to use the so-called 20-20-20 break. In other words, every 20 minutes ,take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
Eye doctors also strongly recommend using eye protection in the workplace, especially in industries such as construction, manufacturing or any profession where eye accidents and injuries may occur. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2012, there were 20,300 recorded occupational eye injuries that resulted in days away from work.
Eye Injuries in the Workplace
More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. About one in 10 injuries require one or more missed workdays for recovery. Of the total number of work-related injuries, 10-20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss. Experts believe that the right eye protection could have lessened the severity or even prevented 90 percent of eye injuries. The common causes of eye injuries in the workplace are:
- flying objects (bits of metal, glass)
- harmful radiation
- any combination of these or other hazards
3 Ways to Prevent Eye Injuries
- Know the eye safety dangers at work by completing an eye hazard assessment.
- Use engineering and administrative controls to eliminate hazards before employees start work. Use machine guarding, work screens or other engineering controls, create policies that require 100 percent compliance with eye safety protective equipment use.
- Use proper eye protection.