This World Sight Day, Allergan, an AbbVie company, came together with experts in the field of ophthalmology to emphasise eye health and its connection to the workplace. With a focus to create an understanding for eyecare in the workplace, these experts shed light on the prevalence of eye-related issues in today’s digital age and dispelled common myths surrounding eye health.
According to a study, 60 per cent of the Indian population experiences digital eye strain. Common eye disorders include refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia, as well as conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye syndrome.
Dr Partha Biswas, Medical Director of Trenetralaya, Kolkata, and Vice President, AIOS, emphasised the importance of regular eye check-ups for early detection of silent eye conditions like glaucoma, underscoring the critical role of awareness in maintaining individual well-being and quality of life.
Eyecare is not just about visual comfort; it’s a fundamental aspect of overall workplace wellness. Prolonged exposure to the modern workplace environment, characterised by extended screen time, artificial lighting, and digital device usage, can lead to a range of eye conditions and discomfort. In India, around 6.8 million individuals suffer from corneal blindness, wherein vision in at least one eye is less than 6/60; among them, one million experience bilateral corneal blindness. The annual incidence of cataract blindness is estimated to be approximately 3.8 million, and ocular injury contributes to 1.5 per cent of all causes of blindness. Further, in India, approximately 77 million people grapple with diabetes, emphasising the need for dedicated screening and treatment pathways for diabetic retinopathy. To combat these challenges and maintain optimal eye health in the workplace, it is crucial to implement proper ergonomics, undergo regular eye check-ups, and adhere to recommended eye care practices.
Delving into this issue Dr Virendra S Sangwan, Director – Innovations, Translational Research, Mentor, Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital highlighted that “It is very important to address workplace-specific eye health concerns. These include digital eye strain resulting from increased screen time, potential links between certain jobs and conditions like dry eyes and glaucoma, and the significance of early detection and regular eye check-ups in preventing vision loss and maintaining overall workplace well-being. We should use the 20-20-20 rule, artificial tears, and maintain proper humidity, to protect against digital eye strain. There is also an underscored need for individuals to be vigilant for workplace-specific symptoms and seek prompt medical attention. Early detection plays a very important role in preserving eye health in professional settings.”
Dr Rakesh Shakya, Chief Consultant and Head of Department of Glaucoma, Sr Consultant Cataract & IOL Services, Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya, Shri Sadguru Seva Sangh Trust highlighted that “Preventive measures in safeguarding eye health play a pivotal role in the contemporary workplace, characterised by increasing digital device usage. The significance of lifestyle changes, including a nutrient-rich diet and protective eyewear, is an effective strategy for preventing eye conditions. Furthermore, the importance of regular eye check-ups as a preventive measure may not be helpful at times, given that certain eye conditions can remain asymptomatic until reaching advanced stages. It is extremely important to consult a doctor upon observing any eye-related symptoms as early intervention plays a vital role in preserving eye health.”