Work Place Eye Wellness

Get your best computer vision with an office lens from Artisan Optics Boise Idaho


March is here and with a new month brings on a new preventative health topic, Workplace eye wellness! All over the country companies are encouraging healthy behavior with their work force. More and more companies are supporting health fairs and encouraging their employees to undergo physicals. In certain cases incentives may be offered for healthy living, such as being a non-smoker or having healthy cholesterol levels. Improving work force health is a wonderful initiative, while initiating health incentives it is important to not forget about the eyes.

Protect your eyes from avoidable workplace injuries at Artisan Optics Boise Idaho


Workplace eye wellness encompasses different aspects of ocular/vision health such as:

  • eye injury

  • visual demand and fatigue

  • prolonged exposure to ocular irritants


Work place eye injuries are responsible for 300,000 emergency room visits a year. While this number does not seem significant when considering the amount of emergency room visits, it seems more significant when studies have shown 90% of these injuries were preventable if the appropriate eye-wear was utilized. The most common causes of eye injuries are from a foreign body in the eye or a chemical burn. Generally when people think of a foreign body in the eye they associate these injuries with certain professions such as construction, mining, or other industrial jobs. Interesting enough a number of individuals in other fields such as hospitality, education, and health are sustaining ocular injuries as well. Eye injuries in the health field are following just behind industrial eye injuries.


If an eye injury is sustained it is important to address the situation immediately. The WORST things to do if an injury is sustained are:

  • Ignore the problem or wait it out to see if the problem resolves. Depending on the severity of the injury this could be sight threatening. Early intervention is the key! We always cringe when someone decides to wait it out over the weekend. That makes for an uncomfortable weekend and most likely a visit to the emergency room.

  • Rubbing the eyes. Eye rubbing is generally not encouraged in non-injured eyes. Vigorous rubbing can increase the pressure inside the eye (which is not ideal if the eye has been penetrated) and can move around the foreign body, making a bad situation worse.

  • Apply pressure to the eye. As mentioned before, increasing pressure or putting pressure on an ocular injury can worsen the situation, especially in cases of the eye being penetrated by an object.


Depending on the injury sustained there are certain measures that can and should be done immediately.

  • Chemicals in the eye: If a chemical gets in the eye rinse the eye immediately with clean water and seek medical attention right away. This is not limited to chemicals like those used for cleaning or in chemistry class, this can even be facial soaps or cleansers, food ingredients such as vanilla, hair products, etc. It is important to seek care because certain chemical agents have the potential to cause permanent vision loss.

  • Sand or small particles in the eye: it is okay to gently rinse the eye immediately before seeking care with an eye-care professional. Small particles can become embedded within the inner eye lids, which increases the risk of infection and scarring.


Another aspect of workplace eye wellness is eye-strain from sustained computer work. Computer work is inevitable in this day and age, it makes us more productive but it also adds to our visual demands. Eye-strain from digital device use has become so common there is a condition called “computer vision syndrome.” Common signs for computer vision syndrome are:

  • Headaches (see our blog headaches and the eyes)

  • Fluctuating vision

  • Fatigue

  • Dry/burning eyes

  • Associated neck and back pain


Obviously computer use is not going to decrease in the future so it is important to do the following:

  • Take visual breaks. It is recommended to look away from your screen every 20 minutes to a distance target (looking at your cell phone is not taking a visual break.)

  • Have an updated and appropriate glasses prescription. Lens companies have engineered lenses to help accommodate these visual demands. It is important to work with an optometrist who is aware of the latest technology.

  • Employ proper work space ergonomics. It is important to have your monitor at an appropriate height and distance away from the eyes and to have appropriate lighting in the space.


Another aspect of workplace wellness is attributed to exposure to irritants. Common exposure elements can be:

  • UV rays: Any person who is outdoors during their day are susceptible to having UV burns. If you have ever had a significant sunburn, imagine this on your eyes. Yikes!

  • Smoke: Emergency responders such as firefighters are going to be exposed to smoke, which can be very irritating to the eyes.

  • Radiation: Studies have found that the intra-ocular lens is susceptible to cataract formation with repeated exposure to radiation. Medical facilities monitor how much radiation an individual is exposed to.


Regardless of the environment at work, there are effects on the eye. It is important to talk to your eye-care provider about preventative measures and the best ways to keep your eyes healthy. Happy March!


Avoid tired eyes by using the correct lens for the job at Artisan Optics Boise Idaho

Posted by Artisan Optics at 3/10/2017 4:57:00 PM
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