There are several factors in the environment that can be harmful to your eyes, and your workplace may also present additional hazards.
Whilst sunlight exposure is great for absorbing Vitamin D (needed for good eye health), too much light can damage your vision. UV rays are extremely harmful to your eyes in large amounts, and can cause a variety of short and long term problems.
In the short term, overexposure to sunlight can cause photokeratitis – a kind of sunburn of the eyes. This can be very painful and result in redness and a gritty feeling in the eye, but fortunately rarely causes lasting damage.
In the long term, UV rays can significantly increase the risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration or retinal damage. In severe cases, blindness has resulted from excessive sunlight exposure.
To reduce your chances of suffering UV related eye damage, make sure you always wear sunglasses when outdoors for long periods of time. Your sunglasses should have proper UVA and UVB filters, and ideally screen out 75-90% of natural light.
Don’t forget to invest in a good pair of sunglasses for your child too – their eyes are just as – if not more – vulnerable to the harmful effects of solar radiation.
If you work in an office, you may well be familiar with the effects of staring at a computer screen all day. Headaches and the feeling of tired eyes are common symptoms of the eye strain, caused by focusing on a screen for too long.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule to give your eyes a break: every 20 minutes, look at something approximately 20 metres away for 20 seconds. This shift in focus allows your eye muscles to relax and breaks up the strain of looking at something nearby for too long.
If you work outdoors or have a job in the construction industry, you should always wear protective eyewear to stop grit and chemicals getting into your eyes. It is your employer’s responsibility to provide you with this protection, but your optician can also give you advice on extra preventative measures to take.
To find out more about eye conditions or to book an eye test at City Eyewear, please call our friendly team on 01274 729393.