Most people hardly give a thought to the amazing work our eyes do to enable us to see, until things start to go wrong. It's often at work or school that people begin to realise they have a problem.
We may be stressed, tired, trying to read tiny print or study tiny diagrams, and using our brains to think out problems fast, relying on all our senses. And so often these days, work also means sitting staring at a computer screen or VDU which puts extra demands on our eyes.
Regular eye checks are very important.
Looking after your eyes at work is vital. But many people don't even have regular sight tests. It's estimated that as many as one in three working people have visual defects (such as short or long sightedness) which have never even been diagnosed or have not been properly corrected. Have regular check ups with an optician - everyone is at risk of eyesight problems whatever their age. By visiting the optician regularly, eye conditions can be found early on.
Between 50 and 75 years of age, you should have an eye check at least every two years.
Make sure you have your eyes tested at least once a year or more often if you have symptoms. You may be able to demand that your employer provides regular eye tests especially if you work at a VDU - check health and safety regulations.
Even if your eyes are healthy, your job can put extra strain on your eyes or cause other eye-health problems. Eye strain means a sensation of tired eyes, which may be accompanied by increasing difficulty focussing or seeing, dryness, headache and general discomfort. Working at a computer screen or VDU greatly increases the risk of eye strain and may lead to computer vision syndrome.
Symptoms suggesting eye problems are:
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