Eye Care Basics

Eye injuries in the workplace are very common. Farming is no exception, especially considering the wide variety of hazards farmers are exposed to each day. Here are some eye care basics you should know.

  • Common hazards that contribute to eye injury include projectiles (dust, concrete, metal, wood and other particles), chemicals (splashes and fumes), radiation (especially visible light, ultraviolet radiation, heat or infrared radiation, and lasers), and bloodborne pathogens (hepatitis or HIV) from blood and body fluids.
  • Growths on the eye (like pterygium) are more common among farmers in their teens and twenties who spend long hours in the mid-day sun.
  • Adults are encouraged to have a baseline eye examination performed at age 40. Middle age is a common time when eye diseases present themselves, so it’s important to track the health of your eyes over time.
  • Eye medical doctors are called ophthalmologists, pronounced oph·thal·mol·o·gist.
  • Snow blindness, a form of photokeratitis, is a painful eye condition caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays reflected from ice and snow, particularly at high elevation.

Sun Protection. All Year Around.

Ready or not, Mother Nature has her plan. That often includes the sun—and in most parts of the country, it means sunlight all-year-round. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to limit the effects of UV light.

5 Prevention Tips
  1. Wear UV-blocking sunglasses all year round. Look for “100% UV Protection” for maximum protection.
  2. Broad-brimmed hats help block harmful UV rays (as well as protect your skin, but we’ll get to that later this week).
  3. Don’t be fooled by the clouds! You can still be exposed to the sun rays through thin clouds and haze.
  4. Darker lenses don’t necessarily protect better. So, don’t fall for that sales myth.
  5. The color of the lenses, whether amber, green or gray lenses, doesn’t make a difference when it comes to UV protection.