The Connection Between Outdoor Jobs and Vision Problems

UV light - Outdoor jobs and vision problems
April 29, 2021
James Ashford

For many people, the thought of working outdoors is a welcome one. Fresh air and scenery are attractive to many and can help you, as an employer, draw more outdoorsy employees. However, with the benefits of working outdoors comes some problems, particularly with your employees’ vision and UV light exposure.

UV light exposure and vision, a toxic combo

Most people know the risks of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure to the skin from being out in the sun. Sunburns are a common summer problem, and many people know that long-term sun damage can result in skin cancer.

However, what many people don’t know is that UV rays can also cause eye problems. Your employees may get headaches from sun glare, but even more of a concern is the short-term eye damage that intense UV light causes.

Photokeratitis, which is like a sunburn on the eye, can develop from such strong UV light. Symptoms of photokeratitis include red eyes, eyes that feel gritty, tearing and light sensitivity. Although uncomfortable and a distraction from productivity, the good news is that photokeratitis is usually not a long-term issue.

Long-term problems abound

What is of more concern is the potential for long-term damage to the eyes. If your employees spend a lot of time in the sun, especially during peak sunlight time, they could develop conditions such as eye growths and cataracts.

However, other potentially irreversible conditions, including macular degeneration and eye cancer, can also occur as a result of long-term exposure to UV rays. Macular degeneration and eye cancer can lead to blindness, and (in regards to cancer) even death.

Prevention is possible

Fortunately, you can take precautions to help your employees protect their eyes. Encourage your workers to wear hats to help shade their eyes from glare. In addition, require them to wear sunglasses that block UV light and reduce glare. Finally, your employees should get an eye exam on a regular basis to check for changes in the eyes that are indicative of sun-related damage.

These precautions, while beneficial, can be costly for your employees, so how can you help?

Vision Care Direct is here

Vision Care Direct’s vision plans can help your employees get the eye protection they need. We are owned by physicians who prioritize the health of your employees’ eyes. With that in mind, all of our plans support comprehensive eye exams as a standard. In this way, your employees can afford to get the eye exams they need to ensure that sun-related eye damage is not appearing or to monitor any changes to damage that has already occurred.

As an added benefit, all of our plans include savings on eyewear that has UV protection included as a standard feature.

While your employees might need to be out in the sun to do their job, you can take steps to make sure their eyes stay healthy. Vision Care Direct is here to help with that goal. We offer a variety of plans at different price points, but all of them will help you protect your employees’ eyes from UV light.

Not sure where to get started with recommending self-funded plans? Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma is pre-paid plan provider with and extensive of specialists who deliver eye care in Tulsa and nationwide with excellent value for employers and plan recipients.

Find out more about our self-funded plans and other flexible options.

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