Digital Eye Strain & Workplace Eye Injuries
Digital Eye Strain
We are living in an extraordinarily digital age. Thanks to technology often small enough to hold in one hand, we can video chat across oceans, stream lectures online to thousands and read entire books on one screen. It's all shaping the way our world works, learns and socializes. But this digital world poses a potential risk to our eyes.
The issue is digital eye strain, which is caused by the overuse of digital devices. Because computer tablets, smartphones and other hand-held products are designed for reading and close range use, eyes must constantly refocus and reposition to process content like graphics and text. Over time, such efforts can lead to fatigue, irritation and vision problems.
You can learn more about digital eye strain including causes, symptoms, and prevention methods by reading the report Screens, Phones, Tablets and More: Keeping Your Eyes Safe in a Digital Age now available.
Workplace Eye Injuries
There are nearly 800,000 work-related eye injuries each year. Every day, approximately 2,000 U.S. workers receive some form of medical treatment for eye injuries related to or sustained at work. While vision loss is one of the top ten disabilities, 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable. Men typically fall victim to eye injuries more often than women.
Eye injuries occur most often among those who operate heavy machinery or moving parts and those who work in construction. Seventy percent of eye injuries are a result of coming into contact with an object or piece of equipment, and 26 percent of eye injuries are due to exposure to harmful substances or environments. Each year, 15,000 welding equipment-related eye injuries and 10,000 power tool eye injuries occur.
These injuries come with significant costs. An estimated $300 million annually in medical bills, compensation and downtime is the result of workplace eye injury. Lost productivity is another significant consequence, with more than 27,000 reported days away from work among private industry employees in 2008.
The Vision Council has issued a report, Eye Safety At-a-Glance: Protecting Your Vision at Work (PDF, 337 KB), which examines the impact of vision problems in the workplace.*All content on this page has been approved by The Better Vision Institute – the medical advisory panel of The Vision Council.