Are Your Eyes Safe At Work?

  • By Germaine Shock
  • 22 Mar, 2017
Protecting your eyes isn’t just about preventing disease or infection. Did you know almost 2,000 people injure their eyes daily while at work? Workplace eye wellness and safety is an often overlooked but important part of eye health preservation. In fact, the Prevent Blindness organization has declared the entire month of March Workplace Eye Wellness Month in an attempt to help provide awareness to both employers and employees alike.

Safety Eyewear

Let’s start out with the most obvious component of keeping your peepers protected - safety eyewear. I get it, it doesn’t always look the coolest and sometimes it can even seem like a hassle to remember. However, choosing to go without it even one time could cost you your sight. Eye injuries can be sustained from a number of sources such as chemical splashes, environmental toxins like gases or mold, flying projectiles, and radiation exposure. In addition, those who work in janitorial, laboratory, or healthcare environments are at risk for acquiring infection diseases that can be spread through the mucous membranes such as the eyes.

Do I Need Safety Glasses?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration - better known as OSHA - requires the use of protective eyewear in any environment where there is a reasonable probability of injury that could otherwise be prevented by eye and/or face protection. There are many options available such as goggles, face shields, full face respirators, and safety glasses depending on the type of hazard and the circumstance of exposure.

Occupations with a high risk for eye injuries include:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Carpentry
  • Auto Repair
  • Electrical Work
  • Plumbing
  • Welding
  • Maintenance

Some guidance on what type of eye protection you might need:

  • If working in an area with a high incidence of flying objects, dust, or other particles, safety glasses with side protection should be worn.
  • When working near radiation such as that from welding or fiber optics - specially designed face shields or helmets will need to be used.
  • If you are working with chemicals, you must wear goggles.
  • In environments with the risk of blood-borne pathogens face masks are usually considered along with plastic face shields.
You should always check with your work for their specific requirements and to make sure that if they do not provide you with eye protection that yours meets safety regulations. Side shields placed on your everyday pair of eyeglasses, for example, do not provide enough protection to be considered approved by OSHA for many work environments.

In addition, an employer should also take steps to make the work environment as safe as possible including conducting an eye hazard assessment of the workplace and removing or reducing eye hazards where possible. You can visit the   AOA's Occupational Vision Manual  for more information on what type of eye protection is right for you.

What If I Work In An Office?

Don’t assume you’re out of the woods if you work in an office setting with minimal to no risk for exposure to the above listed hazards. There can be damage done to your eyes even if you aren’t aware of it - as is the case with those of us who spend a lot of our days on computers or tablets. Computer Vision Syndrome is a real struggle for a lot of individuals, and those suffering from it might not even be aware that this is what is happening. Check out our post here that goes into digital eye strain and computer vision syndrome more thoroughly.

Stay tuned for more info on protecting your sight!


By Germaine Shock 06 Dec, 2017

Do your friends often comment on your ‘unique’ choices when it comes to matching colors and patterns? Being fashionably challenged might not be entirely your fault (or it could be). You might be having an extra difficult time due to color blindness.

Color blindness is actually somewhat of a misuse of the word as those affected by the condition can actually still see color - just with a more limited palette. Color vision deficiency is actually the more accurate term. However, there is a rare form of color vision deficiency known as achromatopsia where you are in fact completely devoid of color in your world- but we’ll get to that one a little later. For now, let’s start with the basics.

By Germaine Shock 01 Aug, 2017
By now most all of you have likely seen or are at least familiar with a solar eclipse. Without getting into too much of the scientific details, a solar eclipse happens when the moon moves between the sun and earth during its orbit causing a partial or complete blockage of our view of the sun. Although a solar eclipse only lasts for a few minutes, its thrilling impact will stay with you for much longer.
By Germaine Shock 20 Jul, 2017
School's out for summer! With a little extra free time and flexibility in your schedule, now is the perfect time to  bring your kiddos in for their eye health exams. Most parents will logically assume that since their child hasn’t had any complaints, they must not be having any problems - or that their child is simply too young to need an eye exam. Think again! 
By Germaine Shock 06 Jul, 2017
Sometimes when it comes to kiddos, you’ll find yourself navigating through some gray areas. For example, determining how much screen time is too much - or how old they should be to watch that scary movie. These definitive numbers are so hard to pinpoint simply because no two children are the same. They all mature at different rates, and we as parents have to adjust accordingly. Fortunately, here are a few tips to help in one of those gray areas -  figuring out if your child is ready for contact lenses.
By Germaine Shock 23 Jun, 2017
We have all made a questionable decision or two at least once in our lives. However, when it comes to your eyes and vision, this is one area where it is always better to be safe than sorry. Here are a few of the most common mistakes made by contact lens wearers and a safer alternative to keep those peepers healthy.
By Germaine Shock 14 Jun, 2017

More than likely if you are reading this, you’ve experienced the strange sensation of an eyelid twitch. It can happen anywhere, at any time, and almost always stops the moment you try to point it out to someone else (and of course resumes the second they turn away just to make you look extra crazy). Well you aren’t crazy - at least in this case - eyelid twitches are a real thing!


Better known in professional lingo as “myokymia”, this twitching sensation is the result of involuntary, spontaneous, rippling muscle contractions. These spasms can actually occur in almost any of the muscles in your body. When relating to the eyelids, myokymia is most common in your lower lids but can happen in your top lids as well.

Eyelid myokymia is typically very temporary. The twitching will usually only last for a few minutes, but in some rare cases can last for a few days or even weeks.

Your doctor will likely advise you that there is no cause for concern as common Myokymia resolves on its own without the need for treatment. Other than causing mild annoyance, the eyelid twitching shouldn’t cause any long term complications or interference with your vision.
By Germaine Shock 01 Jun, 2017

Do your eyes ever feel dry and itchy? Do you ever experience eye fatigue, redness, blurred vision, or excessive watering? You could be suffering from dry eyes - especially if you live in Oklahoma City which ranks as the 17th driest city in the U.S. And despite the name, dry eye isn’t just an annoying feeling - it’s a legitimate chronic eye disease that affects an estimated 4.88 million Americans over the age of 50 alone. And since another estimated 89% of the population have never even heard of Dry Eye Syndrome, it’s easy to see why some would just write off those annoying symptoms as a normal part of their lives.

By Germaine Shock 16 May, 2017

In honor of Mother’s Day kicking off Women’s Week, the Eye- Q blog has decided to dedicate a post solely to women’s eye health related issues. So what makes women’s eye health so special? Women are actually more commonly affected than men by a number of ocular health issues including dryness, cataracts, age related macular degeneration, and complications from autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren's or lupus. Furthermore, according to Prevent Blindness America, 66% of people who are blind or visually impaired are women.

Let’s start with that statistic - why are women more at risk for eye complications than men?
By Germaine Shock 05 May, 2017
May is healthy vision month - and as we draw nearer to the official first day of Summer, what better time to discuss one of the most commonly overlooked parts of eye health - UV protection. Most of you are probably fully aware of the negative effects UV rays can have on your skin, but did you know the sun can be just as damaging to your eyes?
By Germaine Shock 25 Apr, 2017

No, it’s not a typo. Sjogren’s - pronounced show-grins - is a type of autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to various parts of the body; most commonly the tear and saliva glands. This damage results in symptoms ranging from dryness and discomfort to difficulty swallowing and can even affect the lungs and kidneys.

So why exactly does this happen? Let’s start with a quick health lesson. The immune system is responsible for fighting disease and killing harmful viruses and bacteria. However, with autoimmune diseases, your immune system has a hard time knowing when to stop fighting and mistakenly attacks your own body. With Sjogren’s, your exocrine glands - the glands that secrete moisture such as saliva, sweat, tears, breast-milk, gastric mucous, etc - become the main targets.
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