Thursday the 13th of October is World Sight Day, and this year the focus will be on the importance of eye care.
Eye conditions come in all categories of seriousness, and almost all of us will encounter an eye issue at some stage of our lives. The key is to take as much care of our eyes as possible, go for regular eye tests, and address any issues as soon as they appear.
World Sight Day was established to remind us all to focus our attention on eye health, as it affects us all. We also need to remember eye care’s importance in families and within our larger community.
At Queensland Eye & Retina Specialists we also like to remind businesses that they need to look after the eyes of their employees. We immediately think safety glasses when we talk eye care at the workplace, but we need to be screen aware too.
Questions to ask at the workplace
Do you have efficient lighting, and are employees motivated to take regular screen breaks?
It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure staff are eye safe, and that all the tools are on hand to protect workers from any workplace hazards they may face from day-to-day.
Workplace eye hazards include:
- Eye Strain
- Chemical Burns
- Sharp objects in the eye
- Thermal burns
Eliminating workplace hazards:
- Educate and train your staff about potential dangers
- Instil procedures, and encourage safety
- Promote the wearing of safety equipment
- Install barriers where staff might have access to flying debris
Providing eye goggles, face shields, safety glasses and even full faced respirators can protect the eyes of your staff.
What should I do if I damage my eyes at my workplace?
- Don’t remove items embedded in your eyes
- Don’t touch, rub, or apply pressure to the eye
- Cover the affected eye, or eyes, if possible, to protect it from further damage
- See an eye specialist / emergency room / or optometrist as soon as possible
- For chemicals or dust, flush out the eyes with clean water
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) recommends we all follow the 20 / 20 / 20 rule:
While at a screen, every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet (6m) away for about 20 seconds. This helps to relax the eye, reduce fatigue and refocus for distance.
- Make sure prescriptions are up-to-date
- Place screens 15-20 degrees below eye level at a tilt of 10-20 degrees
- Avoid glare
You can try the IAPB’s World Sight Day quiz, to see if you are taking good enough care of your eyes.
As we celebrate World Sight Day, it is critical that we remember that our sight is not something we can attend to once a year, but it is rather something we need to treat with daily care.
Surgeons can do amazing work, and protect, restore, and maintain our vision, but once we’ve lost the use of our eyes, then our sight will be lost forever.
At Queensland Eye & Retina Specialists we specialise in cataract, complex ocular trauma, complex cataract, medical and surgical retinal care.
If you have any concerns about your eyes, or workplace eye care, then please do not hesitate to see your GP or Optometrist. And if you do require the services of an ophthalmologist, then request a referral to Queensland Eye & Retina Specialists.