According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thousands of work-related injuries happen yearly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says 90% of these incidents are preventable. Generally, the kind of eye protection you need depends on the potential hazards present in your workplace. A local orthokeratology expert shares some of the most common causes of workplace eye injuries.
What Are the Common Causes of Workplace Eye Injuries?
Does your job involve sanding, riveting, chiseling, hammering, riveting or machining? If so, you must wear appropriate eye protection like safety glasses, face shields or goggles. These tasks can expose you to small flying objects that can enter your eyes, including metal fragments, wood particles and cement chips.
You must be careful when working with chemicals because they can cause irreversible eye damage. Proper safety gear will protect your eyes from chemical splashes, fumes and vapors. Gasoline, grease, oil and paint thinner can also harm your eyes.
Object or Tool Penetration
Permanent eye damage can occur due to the penetration of tools or sharp objects. When this incident happens, seek medical attention immediately. Always wear safety glasses and avoid tools you have no experience using.
Lasers and welding equipment can produce high levels of infrared, ultraviolet radiation and heat. Workers need to wear safety goggles when performing tasks involving these tools. Doing so will protect them from eye problems like cataracts, retinal burns and blindness.
Which Eye Problems Usually Occur at Work?
Digital Eye Strain
Many jobs today require you to stare at digital screens for hours. If you spend a significant time in front of a computer, you might experience digital eye strain. Headaches, dry eyes and blurred vision characterize this condition. It can also cause neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms can occur due to glare on screens, poor seating posture and improper viewing distances.
Uncorrected refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can also trigger digital eye strain symptoms. The only way to know if you need prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses is to get an eye exam. Moreover, taking breaks from computer screens and ensuring good lighting will help alleviate eye strain.
Usually, eye diseases spread in the workplace through droplets from sneezing or coughing. You might develop an eye infection if you accidentally touch your eyes with contaminated hands. Chronic bacterial conjunctivitis occurs from exposure to Staphylococcus species and other bacteria. Its symptoms include eye redness, burning and a sensation of having something inside the eye. Artificial tears, antibiotics and other topical medications are the common treatment options for this eye condition.
Regular visits to your eye exam doctor will go a long way in keeping your eyes healthy and maintaining good vision. Lumen Optometric is here to assist with your eye care needs. Call us at (626) 921-0199 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.