Tips for Protecting your Vision at Work

February 24, 2022 | by BMI Staff

For those who work that nine-to-five grind, the impact of screens in that environment can be detrimental to eyesight. Digital Eye Strain, alternately known as Computer Vision Syndrome, occurs when one spends a large amount of time on the computer. This can cause an array of uncomfortable symptoms, such as dry and itchy eyes. It can also cause the much more serious and irreversible problem, which is loss of eyesight. Our eyes are kind of like our teeth, in that (aside from the baby teeth we start out with), we only really get one shot to keep them healthy. Once a tooth starts to show signs of decay, it has to be drilled and filled. Similarly, the damage we do to our eyes over time cannot be reversed. In order to protect your vision and keep you seeing clearly for years to come, take a look at these tips for protecting your vision from the digital workplace:

  1. Wear blue light blocking glasses when working on the computer. Even if you don’t require a prescription, these glasses will simply block out the light that is most harmful to your eyesight.
  2. If you wear glasses of any kind, make sure they have anti-reflective lenses. This will reduce the glare and increase the contrast.
  3. Do not stare at your screen for a long time; take breaks off the screen every 20 minutes.
  4. Use an anti-glare screen protector on your computer.
  5. If you are prone to dry eyes from prolonged screen exposure, having a bottle of over-the-counter artificial tears can help prevent this.
  6. Visit the eye clinic for regular comprehensive eye examinations at least once a year.
  7. Keep your screen 25 inches away from your eyes, and position it below eye level. Additionally, position your computer screen away from a direct source of light.
  8. Use a document holder placed next to your screen to avoid shifting your eye focus when alternating between screen and hard copy.
  9. Get a chair you can adjust.
  10. Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. A keyboard that you can adjust is also helpful.

For those who work in hands-on settings, such as construction or manufacturing, the risk of eye damage is also present, but in a different way. While eye protection is required by law for workers in these industries, spreading awareness regarding what tasks could benefit from these protective devices is just as important. Here are a few things that supervisors and employers can do in order to mitigate the risk of eye damage for their employees:

  1. Eliminate potential eye hazards from the worksite in order to reduce the risk of work-related eye injuries.
  2. Coordinate regular training sessions on eye safety for employees.
  3. Run regular eye hazard assessments for workers to determine their level of awareness of the potential hazards of eye injuries in the workplace.
  4. Include information and tips about eye safety in the company’s newsletter, or post signs with these tips at strategic locations around the workplace.

Regardless of the environment in which you work, remember to prioritize your eye health in every way you can. And take this as your sign to walk away from your screen for a few minutes or grab a pair of safety glasses for your next project!