If you ask us, every day of the year should be eye care day, but there’s one day on the calendar recognised worldwide as World Sight Day. The second Thursday of October is our yearly reminder of the importance of caring for your eyes to prevent vision loss and blindness. Regardless of the country or how people choose to spend their days, everyone’s eyesight is precious and deserves care – because the quality of our life depends upon it.
World Sight Day
World Sight Day in 2023 is Thursday, 12 October and the theme is the importance of eye care in the workplace. Employers around the world are encouraged to make eye initiatives a standard practice and promote healthy eye habits in the company.
World Sight Day 2023 is also supporting the Love Your Eyes campaign. The initiative calls on governments and businesses to make eye health accessible and affordable worldwide by 2030. Around 90 per cent of all sight loss is preventable or treatable, but this only happens if detection is early enough.
Eye Health in the Workplace
Many people assume few Australian workers suffer workplace eye injuries now because employers are required to provide PPE that protects their workers’ eyes from potential injury. However, eight per cent of all Australian workplace injuries are eye injuries. For every 1,000 workers, approximately seven will experience an eye injury at work each year.
In 2017, the World Health Organisation reported that low and middle-income countries had high rates of occupational eye injuries. The worst industries for eye injuries are agriculture, cottage, and unregulated industries. In countries with few resources, governments may struggle to prioritise safety in the workplace, but it is still essential.
Prioritising and protecting eye health at work across the world includes avoiding accidents in the workplace caused by or leading to poor vision.
Benefits of Caring for Employees’ Eyes
When an employer helps employees take care of their eyes, everyone wins.
- Good vision helps employees work better and can improve productivity by 22 per cent.
- The slightest vision impairment can reduce productivity by 10 per cent.
- Employees feel cared about when their employer assists with their health.
- Eye safety can reduce sick days and workers’ compensation claims.
How Employers Can Help Workers With Their Eyecare
In Australia, residents with a Medicare card are eligible for a free optometrist eye test every three years for people under 65 years and every year for those over 65. But some employers have prioritised their workers’ eye health and help with the cost and education of eye-related healthcare by:
- Reimbursing workers who need an eye test more regularly than once every three years.
- Subsidising the cost of glasses or contact lenses.
- Subsiding the cost of a consultation with a laser eye surgeon.
- Paying for an eye test for workers who want an eye test more regularly.
- Providing an occupational therapist to do an ergonomic check that includes screens.
- Putting posters in the office to remind staff to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to reduce strain and pain.
- Providing quality safety eyewear that suits individual requirements rather than one-size-fits-all.
- Sending intranet information and emails to staff about eye safety and eye care.
Whether you work in a lower-risk environment like an office or a high-risk job that uses chemicals, produces dust, or deals with bright lights or compressed air, eye safety should be considered daily. World Sight Day brings a range of toolkits and resources for their website. Some of these include a five-minute check sheet for employees, facts and important things to know, and a list of ways to reduce digital eye strain available for download.
Looking After Your Eyes
It’s not just up to employers to look after their workers’ eyesight. Everyone should take responsibility for their eye health. Following these ten tips from The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness can help reduce the risk of vision loss and eye disease:
#1 Give your eyes a break from the screen every 20 minutes.
#2 Children should spend at least two hours a day outside for eye development.
#3 Wear sunglasses outside.
#4 If needed, wear prescription glasses to prevent eye strain.
#5 Don’t use expired eye makeup.
#6 Exercise to reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, which can affect eyesight.
#7 Eat a healthy diet for all vitamins and minerals that contribute to optimal eye health.
#8 Quit smoking.
#9 Book a regular eye test to detect any problems early.
#10 Make your eyes a priority so they last you a lifetime!
As part of World Sight Day, book an eye test even if it has been a while, even if you don’t have any issues. Having your eyes checked every one to two years gives you the best chance at your eyesight lasting all your life. If you have any concerns about your vision, ask for a referral to our clinic by calling (08) 9381 0758 or contacting us online. Ensuring you have clear vision makes for a much better life now and could save you from devastating vision loss in the future.
Contact Lions Laser Vision
Please call us at Lions Laser Vision and speak with one of our clinical coordinators who will be able to answer your questions and schedule an initial consultation with one of our refractive surgeons.
Alternatively, complete the form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
PHONE: 08 9381 0758
FAX: 08 9381 0700
Lions Eye Institute
Lions Laser Vision
2 Verdun Street
Nedlands WA 6009
St John of God Murdoch
Murdoch Medical Centre
100 Murdoch Dr
Murdoch WA 6150