Looking After Your Eye Health: Why It Matters In The Professional World
6 months ago

Recent statistics shed light on the pervasive challenges faced by the UK workforce concerning eye health, emphasising the need for proactive measures and increased awareness. In a new report, the International Labour Organisation and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) found that eye health considerably affects labour markets as workers with visual impairment are 30% less likely to be employed, compared to those without.

Moreover, according to a survey conducted during National Health Week in 2022, more than 70% of professionals in the UK reported experiencing digital eye strain due to prolonged screen time, a prevalent issue in the age of remote work and increased reliance on electronic devices. This alarming statistic underscores the impact of modern work habits on eye health.

Caring for your eye health as a professional

The sedentary nature of desk-bound jobs has led to a surge in complaints related to eye discomfort, headaches, and difficulty focusing among professionals. Just as mental health concerns have led to more organisations encouraging their workforce to nurture and prioritise their mental well-being, the rise in digital eye strain has prompted experts to stress the significance of regular eye check-ups and adopting healthy eye care practices.

In response to these challenges, optometrists recommend the 20-20-20 rule – looking away from screens every 20 minutes, focusing on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Additionally, proper lighting and ergonomics in the workplace can substantially alleviate eye strain.

For glasses-wearers, prioritising eye health also means ensuring that their glasses prescription is updated as changes in vision can occur gradually, impacting performance and causing discomfort. Considering quality eyewear options, Oakley offers a range of professional-looking eyeglasses, such as the Money Clip or Fuel Line frames that seamlessly combine style and functionality. Of equal importance is scheduling regular eye tests, ideally annually, to detect and address vision issues promptly.

Lapses in addressing vision issues in the workplace can have severe consequences, both personally and professionally. In fact, the Eye Health and the World of Work report estimates that 3.5 million eye injuries occur in the workplace every year, amounting to 1% of all non-fatal occupational injuries. On top of this, the IAPB has noted that avoidable sight loss costs the UK £10 billion each year.

Notable jobs requiring peak vision health

Beyond digital eye strain, professions requiring sharp visual acuity demand extra attention to eye health. Jobs such as pilots, drivers, surgeons, and even graphic designers necessitate optimal vision for performance and safety.

For instance, the aviation industry requires flawless vision for safe navigation and decision-making. Pilots must accurately interpret instruments, recognise runway details, and assess potential hazards during flights. As such, rigorous eye examinations are carried out before being granted a pilot licence. Mandatory periodic eye tests are also required to maintain a valid pilot licence.

Meanwhile, in the medical field, surgeons rely extensively on their vision during intricate procedures. Precise hand-eye coordination is vital for performing surgeries, making optimal vision a non-negotiable requirement for this profession.

Ultimately, safeguarding one's vision is an investment in professional longevity. By understanding the implications of poor eye health on productivity, safety, and overall job performance, individuals and employers alike can contribute to a healthier and more successful workforce.

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