Did you know that March 2012 is National Prevent Blindness in the Workplace Month as well as Save Your Vision month? Since vision disorders account for $8.03 billion in lost productivity each year, screening and prevention are very important concerns for the workplace. Prevent Blindness America, a national nonprofit founded in 1908, is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight through screenings, advocacy and training. Along with the American Optometric Association, they’re sponsoring National Prevent Blindness in the Workplace month and offering any company a free packet of blindness prevention information, as well as information on vision benefits. You can get HR tools and materials or email to get your packet.
The most common causes of blindness in America today, according to the NIH, are cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and, most common, diabetes, through diabetic retinopathy. Eye professionals recommend that all adults should see an eye doctor at least every three years, but people with diabetes should have a full eye exam, including pupil dilation, every year.
Working at a computer all day is a fast growing source of vision problems. The American Optometric Association has a helpful fact and tip sheet for computer workers, including suggestions to take periodic eye rest breaks and keep your chair and monitor correctly aligned. Wherever you work, though, the likelihood of vision problems, like that of so many health issues, increases with age. Experts recommend that everyone should have a full vision screening at age 40, which will not just make sure that your eyes are healthy now but establish a useful baseline for future reference. Preventing vision problems in later life is not just good economic sense, it’s one of the most important things you can do to ensure quality of life into old age and beyond.

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