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“World Sight Day”: Eye health in the workplace

Visual impairment is one of the most disabling disabilities physically, emotionally, socially and economically, and plays a major role in determining a person’s quality of life.

Increasing visual impairment

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 12 million people in the United States age 40 and older suffer from vision impairment. This includes 1 million people who are blind, 3 million people with vision loss after correction, and 8 million people with vision loss due to uncorrected refractive error.

This number will double by 2050 due to the increasing epidemic of diabetes, other chronic diseases and rapid aging.

About 6.8 percent of children under the age of 18 in the United States suffer from eye and vision diseases, and 3 percent of them are blind or vision-impaired, defined as having difficulty seeing even with glasses or contact lenses.

Dr. Borja Salvador Cola

“World Vision Day”

In the coming years, an aging population and a higher prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes may exacerbate eye health problems. Low vision can be caused by a variety of causes, such as diabetes and trachoma, eye damage, or refractive error, cataracts, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration.

People of all ages are affected by vision loss, but people over the age of 50 are most affected. Women, rural communities and ethnic minorities are more affected by visual impairment than other groups and are less likely to access care.

To avoid this outcome, the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to support universal access to high-quality eye care services, as well as advocate for the four cornerstones of lifelong eye health: prevention, protection, conservation and priority.

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), approximately 350,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace each year. Of all cases of blindness, 90 percent are preventable or treatable if detected early. Therefore; Awareness plays an important role in preventing eye diseases and delaying their development.

Therefore; World Sight Day 2023, celebrated last week, creates a platform to emphasize awareness of eye health, increase public knowledge of its value and preventive measures, call for improved eye care services, and promote measures to prevent blindness and low vision. This “day” aims to promote collaboration between international organizations, national governments and local communities to reduce preventable blindness, provide vision care and strengthen the eye health system. This “Day” emphasizes the need for comprehensive policies and strategies to address the social and economic impacts of vision loss, helping to achieve the goals of eliminating avoidable blindness. By drawing attention to these problems.

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Eye health in the workplace

On the occasion of “World Vision Health Day”, Dr. Borja Salvador Gulla, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Barrakar Eye Hospital, UAE, with over 17 years of experience in treating eye diseases, spoke to “Sehadak”. An essential pillar in our daily and working lives, and attention to eye health in the workplace is essential for eye safety, especially with the increasing use of electronic devices, good vision is not only a factor in increasing efficiency, but also contributes to improving safety and employee comfort, and focus on the following:

– Awareness and training on the importance of eye health promotes a positive work environment.

– Workshops and training courses strengthen awareness and promote healthy behaviors.

– Business owners should ensure that they provide high quality facilities and equipment such as safety glasses and screens with modern glare reduction technologies.

– A shared commitment to eye care provides a healthy and productive work environment.

Ultimately, eye health is a joint responsibility that falls on both employers and employees.

Dr. Gula added that vision health is an important part of health and safety standards within the work environment for business success and improving the performance of organizations. With increasing reliance on technology, many people are spending long hours in front of screens, causing vision problems and eye strain. Therefore, the following measures should be followed to support eye health:

– Lighting: Emphasis should be placed on providing adequate lighting to reduce eye and visual fatigue.

– Workspace: The screen should be at eye level or slightly lower within the appropriate area for the workspace.

– Rest periods: It is necessary to take breaks from time to time to rest the eyes.

– Optical correction: checking that the glasses or lenses used are correct.

– Safety measures: In dangerous environment, special safety measures should be used.

– Healthy lifestyle: follow a balanced diet and stop harmful habits, which will support eye health.

Vision screening in the workplace

“World Sight Day” adopted a slogan for eye care and maintaining their health and safety, “Love your eyes at work.” Dedicated to calling business leaders to understand the importance of protecting their vision in the workplace. Prioritize the eye health of workers everywhere.

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The importance of vision screening in the workplace cannot be overstated. The goals of vision screening include detecting vision problems while they are still treatable, providing education, and (if necessary) referring the patient to an eye care professional for a comprehensive eye exam.

Importance of this exam:

– First: It ensures that workers have sufficient visibility to carry out their responsibilities safely and effectively, helping to maintain a safe and productive working environment. Accidents and errors can be avoided by early detection of vision disorders.

– Second: it improves the well-being of employees; Because untreated eye problems can cause discomfort, fatigue and reduced job satisfaction. Detecting diseases such as glaucoma or diabetes-related eye problems through regular screening can help prevent catastrophic vision loss.

– Third, and finally: it encourages employees to prioritize their eye health and get the treatment they need, which leads to an improvement in their general health, quality of life and productivity.

Electronic application for vision testing

The World Health Organization launched an electronic application called “WHOeyes”, which is available on iOS and Android mobile operating systems and is compatible with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The app is available in 6 UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The organization calls upon all users of these devices worldwide to download the app for free and benefit from the technology that checks visual acuity within a minute, in an easy way for everyone.

The system calls:

– Everyone should pledge to take a vision test and add their name to the millions of others doing the same.

– Every association or organization and every eye care professional undertakes to encourage all its members to undergo eye examinations.

– Every employer makes vision screening available to all its employees.

– Eye screening can increase awareness and increase demand for eye care services.

The organization hopes to reach 10 million people who will undergo a vision test on the next “World Sight Day”!

The 4 cornerstones of lifelong eye health: prevention, protection, conservation and priority

Love your eyes and avoid blindness

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Founded in 1975, the International Institute for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has a proud heritage of leading international efforts to prevent blindness. IAPP is the global voice of the eye care industry, working to end avoidable vision loss and provide access to eye care and rehabilitation services for all.

The agency (IAPB) offers 10 tips to care for your eyes, protect them and prevent blindness:

– Follow the 20/20/20 rule and give your eyes breaks and breaks from staring at the screen: When using a screen, look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes to avoid eye strain and headaches.

– Spend some time outside: Children should spend at least two hours a day outside the house to rest their eyes. This helps their eyes develop in a healthy manner and helps them avoid developing nearsightedness.

– Wear sunglasses outdoors: Make sure your sunglasses offer UVA and UVB protection to prevent the sun’s rays from damaging your eyes.

– Wear glasses if you need them: You should wear your glasses so you can see clearly and your eyes don’t have to work so hard; This can lead to eye strain and headaches.

5- Check cosmetics to avoid eye infections: Check the expiration date of eye makeup and change your brushes regularly to prevent the accumulation of bacteria that can cause eye infections.

– Exercising regularly: Regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure that can affect your eyesight.

– Follow a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet ensures that you get the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain healthy eyes.

– Don’t smoke: Smoking increases the risk of serious eye diseases and permanent vision loss.

– Book an appointment for an eye exam before problems appear: An eye exam can detect eye conditions before they affect your vision, so even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong with your eyes, you should schedule an appointment. A regular eye exam should detect problems before she appears.

– Give priority to your eyes; You need them to last you a lifetime: Put reminders in your calendar for regular eye exams. Get your eyes checked every one to two years.

* Community Medical Consultant

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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