Better vision 20-20-20 - Business Works
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Better vision 20-20-20

by Alastair Lockwood, Ophthalmologist, Feel Good Contacts At the time of year when New Year's resolutions and any commitments to a healthy lifestyle might begin to wane, it's important to revisit your goals for the year ahead to establish why you decided on them at the back end of December. If it wasn't already, you and your staff's eye health is one thing that you should be looking after says Alastair Lockwood, eye surgeon and Ophthalmologist at Feel Good Contacts.

It's an obvious statement, but your eyes are integral to pretty much everything you do in life and it's no secret that the physical demands we put them under is only increasing over time. We already know that the growing use of smart devices in and away from work is putting more strain on our eyes than ever before and it's critical that we take measures to account for this in order to maximise ours and our employees' vision in the long run.

Businesses already have a responsibility to provide reasonable care to those workers that spend significant time in front of screens: free eye tests; subsidised glasses and contacts; and screen protectors to reduce eye strain. And there is so much more that companies do (at little cost) to provide duty of care for their workers.

Optometrists are continuing to find an increasing number of tech-related eye strains in patients, demonstrating the threat devices pose to our long-term eye health.

Here are five things business managers can to do encourage staff to put their eye health first in 2020:

Regular breaks during the day are key

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is very much a real thing and is caused by extended periods of time in front of a screen without a break. The glare from the screen can cause eye dryness, strain and general tiredness, which as well as damaging your eyes, can also have an impact on overall productivity levels.

While it's a common cliche, encouraging your team to take a break throughout the day is key. One simple way of doing this is the 20-20-20 technique which you should encourage your staff to try throughout the working day. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break from your screen to look at something 20 feet away. This vital break will give your eyes a chance to rest and is an effective way to reduce eye strain.

Ensure working spaces and equipment are up to scratch

A screen that is bright and high quality in terms of resolution is crucial to staff that are spending 7-8 hours a day in front of it, so ensure you do regular checks and testing to make sure they are up to scratch. Working with a dull screen or glare forces eyes to strain more, which in the long run could have consequences.

Anti-glare screens are an easy and cost-effective way to support staff with this, reducing the everyday strain on their eyes. However, it is important to ensure that sufficient lighting is present around desks for equal brightness, since shadows and light glare can cause eye fatigue. Furthermore, ensure computer screens are positioned at least 25 inches (60cm) from the user.

Cleanliness is key

Do the basics well. As well as creating a more pleasant place to work, a clean environment, with minimal dust is important and will cause less irritation to the eyes of your staff.

Help those wanting to quit smoking

Smoking exposes your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress and has been linked to the risk of cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes and dry eye syndrome. Quitting smoking at any stage of life can be beneficial, reducing the risk of developing eye threatening conditions.

While you can't force your staff to quit smoking, you can put provisions in place to support those wanting to stop in 2020. We have recently heard about a business offering additional holiday to non-smokers as a potential perk and while this is quite extreme, it is indicative of how companies can encourage staff to think about their lifestyles. Organising group initiatives to let employees know they are not alone when it comes to quitting can be an easy way to get people to commit to the idea.

Make sure your staff are getting their eyes checked regularly

Regular eye examinations are crucial to spotting sight loss or damage before it worsens. Optometrists can help detect conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration which can lead to sight loss, so encouraging your staff to visit an optician every two years is an important step in maintaining good eye health.

For more information, please contact: Feel Good Contacts

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