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March is Workplace Eye Wellness and Save Your Vision Month

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What precautionary measures can be taken to save your vision?
March is a great time to become aware of eye health as it is Workplace Eye Wellness Month and Save Your Vision Month. Regular eye exams by an optometrist or ophthalmologist are the only way to be sure your eyes are healthy. Many sight-threatening eye diseases, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy, show no noticeable symptoms. Regularly scheduled eye exams are crucial for detecting and managing problems before they lead to vision loss.

What steps can be taken to promote healthy vision in the workplace?
Sitting in front of a computer screen all day can lead to eye strain and discomfort.Keep in mind these tips to keep your eyes safe while on the job:

• Higher screen resolution will make your eyes feel better
• Adjust both brightness and contrast levels to achieve the best clarity for your eyes
• Adjust computer monitors away from reflected images and reduce glare by removing bright light sources away from your peripheral vision
• Adjust prescription eyewear to compensate for computers that sit further away and higher up
• Take time to rest your eyes when using the computer for prolonged periods. Look away from time-to-time and blink often; incorporate the 20-20-20 rule.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a temporary condition that occurs when focusing on a computer screen for too long. Some of the symptoms include: headaches, blurred or double vision, and eyes that are red, irritated or dry. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, CVS affects approximately 90 percent of people who spent three hours or more a day looking at a computer.

Can CVS cause permanent damage?
CVS is a repetitive stress injury compared to carpal tunnel syndrome because it results by overusing the same muscles. Currently there is no evidence that CVS causes any long-term damage.

What is the 20-20-20 Rule?
For every 20 minutes you look at your computer screen, take a 20-second break to look at something that is 20 feet away.

by: Dr. William Schiff, an optometrist at Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center for the past 20 years and is currently the director of the Vision Correction Surgery Center.