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Wearing eye protection can prevent 90 percent of work-related eye injuries, experts suggest

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San Francisco – Ninety percent of on-the-job eye injuries could be avoided if workers wore eye protection, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Each day, nearly 2,000 workers suffer job-related eye injuries requiring medical attention, AAO stated in a press release, and about 40 percent of these injuries occur in the construction, manufacturing and mining industries.

In addition, eye injuries suffered at work cost more than $300 million per year in lost productivity, treatment and compensation, the press release states.

“It takes only a few seconds to protect yourself from eye-related issues that can cause vision problems,” Brenda Pagán-Durán, ophthalmologist and clinical spokesperson for AAO, said in the release. “I can’t stress enough the importance of incorporating eye wellness into your daily routine; whether it’s simply adjusting the setting on your computer monitor, or wearing appropriate protection to avoid serious eye injury. This is truly an ounce of prevention that can safeguard your vision.”

AAO, which has designated March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month, offers the following tips for avoiding workplace eyestrain or injury:

  • Wear protective eyewear appropriate for the type of hazard you may encounter.
  • Position your computer monitor 25 inches away.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a break by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Reduce glare on your cell phone or digital device.
  • Adjust environmental lighting near your workstation.

If a worker experiences an eye injury on the job, he or she should seek medical attention from an ophthalmologist or go to an emergency room for immediate care, AAO recommends.

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