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National Eye Health Awareness Week is 20th to 26th September 2021

In a recent study from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, over 500 HR managers and decisionmakers were asked what they thought the advantages of prioritising employee eye health were.

The responses? Of those interviewed, around 42% cited improved employee health and wellbeing, 37% cited enhanced productivity, and just over a third (33%) cited boosts in staff morale and motivation from the perception of workplace support.

This National Eye Health Awareness Week (20-26 September 2021) is an opportunity for businesses to show their support for one of the most important body parts utilised in the carrying out of everyday work: your eyes! The week-long initiative is intended to promote awareness about all aspects of eye health and the urgent need for regular eye tests.

Did you know that round 2 million people in the UK suffer from sight loss that impacts their daily lives considerably? Furthermore, up to half of this is avoidable.

Encouraging your employees to take regular sight tests can help them to detect common conditions such as glaucoma before they become serious, hence reducing the risks of staff illness. Eye tests can also help employees to detect medical problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Keeping fit and healthy can benefit everyone’s eye health in the long term. So, in addition to taking eye tests, we should all make the effort to eat well, take regular exercise and protect our eyes from over-exposure to the sun.

Try this recommended eye care routine

Many employees who spend long hours in front of display screen equipment (DSE) suffer from sore and dry eyes. If this affects people in your workplace, suggest this eye care routine recommended by optometrists.

1

Heat and massage

Press a warm, dampened cloth to your eyelids for around 10 minutes while gently massaging with your fingers. Don’t do this too rigorously. Repeat this action 2-3 times daily, or as needed.
2

Cleanse

Practising good hygiene should be an important part of your eye care routine, and can help alleviate sore eyes in the long term. Start by cleaning your eyelids with an eye cleanser, such as Blephaclean (available at most pharmacies), twice daily for 3 weeks. Thereafter, reduce usage to once daily, or alternatively you may want to switch to using a product like Blephasol lotion once daily to aid your eye lid hygiene on an ongoing basis.
3

Lubricate

There is nothing worse than suffering from dry eyes. Try using a lubricant product, such as Thealoz Duo, applying one drop in each eye 4 times daily or as needed.
Do you wear contact lenses? If so, don’t worry. Some lubricants, such as Thealoz Duo and Hyabak, are contact lens friendly. Just remember to always check the label before. When putting on your contact lenses, squirt a drop of your lubricant into the curved inner surface before inserting the lens into your eye.

National Eye Health Awareness Week is an important opportunity to reflect on your own eye care routine. However, remember that it is equally important to stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

You should also try to incorporate regular blinking exercises into your day, especially when spending long hours in front of the computer! If you or your employees plan on making any significant changes to your eye care, make sure to consult with a doctor or optometrist first.

How can your organisation spread the word?

If you are a business or organisation responsible for staff, here’s what you can do this National Eye Health Awareness Week:

  • Posters
    Put up posters in your office or distribute them on your staff intranet for those working remotely. The charity organisation Vision Matters has made posters available in their electronic resources page that you can use in promoting awareness to your employees.
  • Speakers
    Invite an optician to come in and speak to your employees. Thrive4Life offers a range of educational health & wellbeing webinars aimed at staff, so get in touch to find out how we can assist you.
  • Newsletters
    Promote awareness about the week in your internal emails, newsletters or communications campaign. Thrive4Life can assist you with developing tailored health & wellbeing newsletter content for your organisation.
  • Events
    Organise a staff event, such as a quiz or competition, in order to encourage conversation and raise awareness.

Vision Matters provides a range of additional resources that you may want to draw your staff’s attention to, including an online Eye Health Calculator, Sight Loss Stimulator, and educational Eye Health Podcasts.

In putting together your staff campaign, it may be useful to take note of the different daily themes that will be in play over the week. The chosen themes this year are:

  • Monday 20 September 2021 – How’s Your Sight Seeing? Eye test call to action & spotlight on red flag symptoms for poor eye health
  • Tuesday 21 September 2021 – Focus on Kids’ Eye Health
  • Wednesday 22 September 2021 – How to be Screen Smart
  • Thursday 23 September 2021 – Live Well, See Well – how your lifestyle can impact eye health
  • FrEYEday 24 September 2021 – Help us light up social media with stories of why Vision Matters
  • Saturday 25 September 2021 – Vision and Falls
  • Sunday 26 September 2021 – Good Vision for Driving.
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