March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month.

Every day, nearly 2,000 people in the U.S. injure their eyes while working. Of these 2,000, some are severe enough to garner a trip to the emergency room.

We usually think of work-related eye injuries as being isolated to outdoor jobs such as construction work, landscaping or animal handling. However, it could be just as hazardous working in an office. The most common eye problem is computer vision syndrome. While consistently being on your computer will not permanently damage your vision, it can make your eyes fee stained, irritated and fatigued.

Workplace technology (computers, tablets and other smart devices) poses a significant risk to our vision. Overexposure to computer screens, a common problem during the 8-hour work day, can cause our eyes to lose their ability to function properly. Too much screen time and not enough breaks can cause headaches, inattentiveness, neck pain, back strain, and dry eye.

Here are some ways to prevent computer vision syndrome and keep your eyes feeling comfortable:

•Reposition your screen.  Adjust your screen to be at a right angle away from any direct light source. Invest in an anti-glare screen for your monitor to make computer work gentler on your eyes.

•Remember the 20-20-20 rule.  This rule reminds you that every 20 minutes, you should look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

•Don’t forget to blink.  Remembering to “blink often” and close your eyes once in a while, will keep them from getting dried out.

•Use artificial tears.  Over-the-counter eye drops can be extremely helpful in preventing dry eye and keeping your eyes comfortable.

•Drink water.  Adequate hydration can make a big difference, especially during the winter months when heaters and low humidity can make the air particularly dry.

•Schedule regular comprehensive eye exams. Nothing can replace the importance of having an eye exam by a licensed ophthalmologist at regular intervals.

If you have any concerns about your vision or experience any changes in your eyesight, do not delay in calling our office and making an appointment.