Dry Eyes; are they leaving your bottom-line parched?
Dry, red, irritated eyes; we see them everyday. From the computer user to the
machine operator and assembler; employees are seeking relief. What is often
overlooked is how dry eyes of your workers can effect your business’s bottom
line. Dry eye describes a condition when the eye cannot produce enough tears or
tears that are lacking the proper composition. Normally healthy tears consist of
three layers. The layers are often described as an outer oily layer, middle
watery layer, and an inner mucus layer. Together the three layers are necessary
for proper lubrication of the eye. . If untreated dry eye can interfere:
* with the clarity of your vision
* contact lens wearers experience irritation, reduced hours of wear, and possible infection
* with the health of eye tissue and possibly damage, even permanently scar, your cornea
What are the causes of dry eye?
Prolonged levels of concentration: example: the eye usually blinks between 20 + 30 times per minute. This level drops to about 5 times when you view a monitor.
Environmental factors: exposure to debris in the work area
Outside workers open to the wind
Affects of cold or heat (sweating)
Contact with chemicals
Aging process: as we mature the eye’s natural process is to produce lower levels of tear volume
Medications: certain prescriptions and over the counter medications (ex: cold & allergy) reduce tears
Fatigue: the human eyes requires at minimum 6 hours of sleep for proper functions the next day.
Contact lenses: improper care & cleaning and over wear of the contacts are the largest contributors to reduced tear volume
Now that you are aware of the factors that contribute to worker dry eyes; how does a dry eye condition affect a business’s bottom line? Your employee may experience one or more of these symptoms.
Blurred vision: affects productivity levels by as much as 9% and quality accuracy 38%
Foreign body sensation: time away from position to seek treatment from company personnel and/or medical specialist
Burning sensation: dry eyes are more susceptible to infection and in turn the related medical treatment cost
Dry eye conditions and its severity vary from person to person. Treatment options for dry eye conditions range from:
* simply applying natural tears when eyes feel dry and uncomfortable
* moisturizing ointment or high viscosity lubricant before bed
* modifying work environment to minimize environmental factors
* educating employees as to causes and remedies for dry eye
* seeking an eye care specialist for corrective measures such as punctual plugs ( Eye care professionals can evaluate dry eye syndrome via a slit lamp microscopic analysis, Rose Bengal test or a "Zone Quick" test)
* providing safety eyewear to protect the eye from conditions which cause dry eye
Dry eye is a manageable condition and shouldn't be discounted as simply a minor nuisance. Remember if in a 2 - 3 day period your symptoms do not improve I recommend you consult your local private optometrist or consult your doctor for dry eye can be related to other medical problems. I have seen those lubricants by make a dramatic difference in the eyes of workers. You can visit the web sites www.yourhealthyeyes.com, or www.refreshmyeyes.com for more information and a discount coupon
I hope the basic lubrication guide I have included will assist your worker education efforts. If you have any questions; please contact me directly.
Important to note: drops that only promise to get the red look out of your eyes should be avoided. They contain vassal constrictors which tighten the blood vessels in the eyes. These types of drops are designed for minimal application and some evidence suggests they actually dry the eye.
>>>>>>>> After placing a drop of lubricant in the eye, keep the eye closed for about 5 seconds for the full affect of the lubricant to take action. Drops are not habit forming or addictive <<<<<<<<<
Symptoms indicating use for lubrication throughout the work day:
redness of the sclera (white part of your eye) ---- Burning ---- Tearing
Itchiness ---- eyes feel gritty ---- at end of day; eyes feel dry --- eyes feel dry and sore in the morning ---- eyes have in the corners heavy levels of sleep debris
CONTACT LENS WEARERS LUBRICATION GUIDE
IF in the a.m. the eye has "red veins" and / or debris in corner of eyes,
lubricate with natural tear and wait a half hour before inserting contacts. At
end of day - If after contacts are removed your eyes feel dry ,red and are itchy
- lubricate again. During the day while contacts are worn, if you feel like an
eyelash is touching this is the first stage of dryness. Use a contact lens
lubricant ( Blink or Clerz 2). One drop in the eye is sufficient, in
just a few blinks the refreshment should occur and last for a number of hours.
The second stage of contact lens dryness will be a blink, momentarily the vision
is fuzzy and with the next blink vision is restored. Lubricate again. . If after
lubrication you experience any halos or rainbows around light sources; your eye
is exhausted and the contacts should be removed with no additional wear that day
For more information on our wellness program Dry Eye in the Workplace: please contact our office at 708-686-5266