The month of March is dedicated to promote good eye health with National Save Your Vision Month. According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2016 American Eye-Q® survey, "88 percent of Americans know that digital devices can negatively affect their vision, but the average American still spends seven or more hours per day looking at their screens.” High levels of exposure to screens can cause various levels of eye and health problems including "digital eye strain, sleep problems, blurred vision, headaches and neck and shoulder pain, among other things.”
National Save Your Vision Month is a great time to spread awareness of these potential dangers and learn about how to limit overexposure. A few tips from the AOA include:
- Power down before you turn in: Turn your digital devices off at least one hour before bed.
- Unplug with the AOA 20-20-20 rule: When you are using any device or computer, make a conscious effort every day to take a 20-second break and look away from the screen, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
- Step back: Maintain a comfortable working distance from your digital device by using the zoom feature to see small print and details, rather than bringing the device closer to your eyes.
- Adjust your device to fit your needs: The AOA recommends reducing the glare by adjusting device settings or using a glare filter to decrease the amount of blue light reflected from the screen.
- Schedule an appointment: Visit a doctor of optometry by visiting AOA.org to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam to detect and address vision problems.
In the construction industry, personal protective equipment (PPE) for the eyes and face usually include:
- Safety glasses: protective eyeglasses that may include your regular prescription glasses. They should have impact-resistant lenses and safety frames constructed of metal or plastic.
- Goggles: depending on the work you are doing, more eye protection may be needed. Goggles are tight fitting and should completely cover the eyes, eye sockets, and facial area around the eyes.
- Welding shields: if you are a welder or working around welders, you may need a welding shield, which protect the eyes and face from burns caused by the intense light, sparks, and other splatters.
Follow all safety procedures for the work you do and be sure to give your eyes a rest throughout the workday. If you have any questions or concerns, always contact your doctor. Protect your eyes.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!