In 2015 25% of the workforce in the United States will be over age 55. Difficulty seeing clearly for reading and close work is a common problem adults will develop in this age group. Changes in the eyes can affect your employees work and enjoyment of life. Is your facility prepared for the vision demands of this age group?
For anyone over age 55 five issues govern their visual clarity and on the job accuracy, loss of mid- range acuity, Lighting, chronic dry eye, glare, and physical stress related to computer usage
Loss of mid-range: Printed materials will not be as clear as before, in part because the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible with time. Eyes find it harder and harder to focus on near objects with the same ability compared to when a person was younger.
One study I read in my professional journals reports as many as 50% of patients who require good intermediate and near vision for their work are finding their current glasses don’t do the job. I recommend every employee bring a copy of WIDE with them to their eye doctor. WIDE helps the employee define their eye’s condition and their visual demands for their job > WIDE helps the doctor understand what the employee does with their eyes on the job
Lighting: as we age the lens inside the eye yellows and clouds. Employees 55 and over will require increased illumination to maintain clear sharp visual accuracy in order to perform their job properly. For example, the normally clear lens located inside your eye as it starts to discolor can make it harder to see and distinguish between certain shades of colors.
Remedying lighting issues for the 55+ group reduces their eye strain, fatigue, and accidents.
Lighting to consider in your facility includes indirect lighting in all general office areas. Task lighting with three level controls positioned at work station. Fill lighting to lighten perimeter areas to eliminate the “cave effect”.
Glare: Changes within the lens inside the eye cause light entering the eye to be scattered rather than focused precisely on the retina. This creates more glare for the 55+ workforce. Glare makes your eyes become tired and strained which reduces your overall visual accuracy. Your eyes are forced in many of instances of glare, to compensate by squinting. Your vision can become blurred and the ability to judge various contrasts is reduced. Employees who fall into the following categories will all be more sensitive to glare’s effects: those with light colored eyes (such as blue, green, & gray), taking certain prescription and over the counter medications, post refractive surgery, and which have cataracts-diabetes-glaucoma. And glare is the2nd highest ranked employee complaint
Remedying glare issues for the 55+ age group is as simple as adding antireflective coatings to safety eyewear, covering unshaded windows, and the color in the bulbs in your overhead lighting
Reduced Tear Production
With age, the tear glands in your eyes will produce fewer tears. As a result, eyes may feel dry and irritated. Having an adequate amount of tears is an essential element in keeping your eyes healthy and maintaining clear sight.
To assist you in addressing; please read our recommendations in Dry Eye in the workplace
Computers: WebMD.com reports 4 out of 10 adults suffer adverse effects of stress. And I was surprised to learn between 75 – 90% of physician visits could be linked to stress induced ailments. OSHA considers stress a hazard.
It is estimated that 75% of the workforce uses a computer at least 4 or more hours every day in order to execute their job responsibilities The Leibniz Research Centre surveyed computer users and discovered 49% of the employees using progressive bifocals, the most common type today, have visual and body posture problems at work. Vision Xperts has a wellness program Pixel vs Print to assist you in remedying the productivity & ergonomic issues of the computer workplace.
Vision Xperts 613 S. 2nd St., St. Charles, IL 60174
We make house calls for safety eyewear, computer ergonomics, Wellness programs
708-686-5266 fax: 630-443-4823 www.wecare4eyes.com