The human eye is one of our most valuable instruments, but also one of the most vulnerable. We often place our eyes under unnecessary stress, and eye injuries occur every day at work and home. We cannot prepare for and avoid every incident, but we can make adjustments to how we perform some daily activities in order to reduce the strain on our eyes and the risk of injury.
Screens At Work and Home
Although certainly not dangerous, excessive television viewing does put a great strain on our eyes. The eyes are forced to constantly adjust to different colors and sizes of objects at a close distance. While you need not sit a mile away, you should avoid sitting too close to the television. Forcing yourself to try to blink naturally and taking occasional breaks are good ways to help to relieve the strain on your eyes.
Between work and home, we are increasing the hours we spend in front of computer screens. This can lead to dry eyes since we blink less while looking at the screen. To relieve your eyes, you can occasionally close them for a few seconds and open them slowly.
Other ways to reduce the strain on your eyes while working on the computer include: having anti-glare screens put in and ensuring that images are clear and do not flicker, increasing the font size on your screen, making sure the screen is at eye level. and using a larger monitor.
Lighting should also be adjusted so that it is neither too bright nor too dim. A soft desk light on the side may help reduce stress on the eyes. In some cases, people need different glasses for computer work, so ask your eye care professional if you experience any difficulty or discomfort when looking at the computer screen.
D-I-Y and Sports
Do-It-Yourself projects at home can lead to a great sense of accomplishment, but also to eye injuries if you are not properly equipped. Before mowing your lawn, inspect it for any debris. You may even want to wear goggles to be on the safe side.
Eye protection should also be worn when sawing, sanding, drilling etc. Fine particles can cause irritation, while large particles may cause serious damage. If an object does become embedded in your eye, do not rub your eye as this may cause further damage. If you cannot wash it out, seek professional assistance.
When handling paints and chemicals, make sure you read the instructions beforehand to know if you need eye protection. In addition, always make sure aerosols are pointing away from your face before spraying. In the case of eye contact, flush your eyes out immediately for 15 minutes and consult a medical professional if irritation persists.
Wearing the appropriate eye protection is advisable when participating in many sports. Swimming and skiing both require specific goggles. Any racquet sport where a small ball is used also poses a particular danger of eye injury and eye protection should be used. If you have had any eye problems in the past, in particular one requiring surgery, you should consult an eye professional before participating in any contact sport.
This resource is only a guide and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or ignore professional medical advice because of something you have read on a website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call a doctor, dial 911 or go directly to a hospital Emergency Room (ER).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
All About Vision
American Optometric Association
Virtual Medical Centre