Eye sight
Poor eye sight is one of the major causes of most traffic accidents
World Sight Day: 90% of sight loss preventable, treatable – Optometrist

As the people of Imo State joined in the celebration of World Sight Day, a specialist optometrist, Dr Osinachi Evuline, has said that 90 per cent of all sight loss can be prevented and treated, if detected early.

Evuline said this while speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of the 2023 World Sight Day, in Owerri, on Thursday.

Recall that the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, with the cooperation of the World Health Organization (WHO), has set aside the second Thursday of October, every year, for the celebration of World Sight Day (WSD).

Speaking on the year 2023 theme, ‘Love Your Eyes At Work’, Evuline said that since the average person spends one-third of their life at work, workplace activities can make a great impact on a person’s quality of life, short-term or long-term.

She said that digital eye strains are becoming an increasingly big problem as most workspaces are nothing without screens, from tiny phone screens to computers and televisions, hence the need for preventive eye care.

She said “Your workplace computer, alignment of your desk, chair and lighting have a huge bearing on how your eyes function and if not managed properly can result in eye strain, headaches, and long-term damage.

“If your work demands spending hours in front of a screen, then you should blink often to help your eyes remain lubricated as proper moisture, either from blinking or the use of lubricating eye drops, keeps the eyes comfortable, especially during work.”

According to her, there is a need for everyone to wear their prescription glasses, lenses with a blue-light filter or anti-glare glasses to help reduce discomfort and strain, especially while staring at your screen for long hours.

She advised workers to follow the 20-20-20 rule, that is to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes, to help relax the eyes and save the body from unwanted strain and pain.

The Eye Specialist advised that computer screens, screen brightness, contrast, colour, temperature, text size and display be adjusted 15 to 20 degrees below eye level and 50 to 70cm away from the eyes to protect vision.

Evuline further recommended that outdoor workers wear protective, work-appropriate eyeglasses to prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun from damaging the photosensitive structures in the eyes.

She cautioned against smoking, adding that it makes a person more susceptible to age-related macular degeneration and other eye conditions such as cataracts and can also damage the optic nerves, which can cause loss of vision over time.

According to Evuline, those who may need to rub their eyes should frequently wash their hands while everyone working outdoors over prolonged periods should take enough water to remain hydrated and improve eye health.

She said: “Outdoor workers must reduce the dehydrating effect of sunlight by taking enough water to lubricate the eyes and eating a balanced diet.”

She urged everyone to get enough sleep, just like the rest of the body, the eyes need to recharge too, and this happens when a person sleeps.

She said “90% of all sight loss is preventable or treatable. The majority of eye diseases can be treated, or progression slowed if detected early.”

While reminding the people that good vision increases productivity at work, improves earning potential, and enhances the quality of life, Evuline advised them not to joke about it.