Health & Wellness

The Importance of Managing Your Eye Health

By Damien Lacey on August, 18 2020
4 minute read

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Damien Lacey

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When it comes to eye care, many of us are reactive instead of proactive. We book our eye exams only after the headaches begin and buy sunglasses in the summer, rarely during fall or winter. We take our eyesight for granted. But our eyes should not be neglected.

Many employee benefits programs include an allowance for eye exams and glasses. Routine eye exams and the purchase of prescription glasses when necessary should become part of our overall healthcare regime—like going to the doctor for our yearly checkup. 

In this blog, you’ll learn about problems that can arise from poor eye care, and some ways your employee benefits plan can help solve them. 

Sunglasses for Eye Health During Summer

Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement. They protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s critical to protect our eyes during summer. The level of UVA and UVB rays are much higher than other seasons. 

Polarized sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses significantly reduce glare and avoid distorting your vision. Additionally, they make images appear sharper and clearer, making your eyes  less strained and more comfortable.

It’s worth noting that polarized sunglasses do not necessarily protect against UV rays. , which is different from polarization. However, Polarized sunglasses can be combined with UV protection, allowing for reduced glare, less eye strain, and protection from UV rays.

Prescription sunglasses

Quality prescription sunglasses are certainly a worthwhile investment. A pair of prescription sunglasses are highly recommended for anyone who uses eyeglasses to correct their vision. Even better, you can get prescription glasses with polarized lenses—combining the best of both worlds.

Usually employee benefits plans  provide coverage for prescription sunglasses.


Be Proactive With Regular Eye Exams

An eye exam is much more important than just testing  your vision, it is an early warning system. A thorough eye exam can identify more than just vision related problems. It can help detect  threatening health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease before obvious symptoms manifest  allowing for treatment aimed at preventing or mitigating previously undetected conditions. The importance of getting your eyes checked regularly is undeniable. 

The Canadian Association of Optometrists has recommendations about how often people should get an eye exam. In addition to regular eye exams, any concerns regarding your eye health or vision, or if you injure your eyes in any way, warrants a trip to the optometrist.

Most employee benefits plans include eye exams once every two years, some employers provide reimbursement for prescription lenses once every two years for amounts ranging from $150-300 however, many employers are now utilising health care spending accounts as a way for reimbursing eye care expenses. 


Daily Eye Care Considerations 

Staring At Your Screen

With an increase of people working from home in recent times, staring at a digital monitor is more prevalent than ever. If it is not our work screen, it is our tablet, mobile phone or ipad. Staring at an electronic screen for long periods of time can cause some troubling and uncomfortable side effects.

Some of the common negative side effects of too much screen time are:

  • Eye Strain
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty focusing at a distance
  • Dry eyes

Sometimes we can’t help staring at a screen. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure your eyes are best equipped to deal with the brightness or glare that comes from your digital devices:

  • Ensure your prescription is up to date so that your contacts or glasses are appropriate for computer use.
  • If you are consistently experiencing eye strain then you should talk to your doctor.
  • Have your monitor so that your eyes are level with the top of your screen. 
  • Use an anti-glare screen or night-mode setting 
  • Choose a supportive chair for working
  • Try using artificial tears if you have dry eyes.
  • 20/20/20 rule - Rest your eyes every 20 minutes, Looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Lighting Tips 

Quality lighting is essential to avoid causing harm to your eyes and to ensure your eyes are comfortable to work and perform daily duties. 

Some lighting tips to help protect your vision include:

  • Having multiple light sources in the room.
  • avoiding any sharp light.
  • Having the brightest light source on the side of your monitor 
  • Using lamps with directed light when reading or writing.

Vision Insurance

According to the Canadian Government’s Ministry of Health, proper eye care can prevent 75% of vision loss. However the cost of vision care can be a deterrent. 

As an employer, it’s essential to periodically reevaluate your benefits plan to ensure you’re meeting your team’s needs. Talk to individuals about their coverage and their overall wellness. If you find that employees are often paying for vision-related products out-of-pocket, you may need to consider increasing their maximum or looking at alternative options in order to keep everyone happy, engaged, and healthy.

Health Care Spending Account

An HSA complements your traditional health insurance. It provides reimbursement for a wide range of health-related expenses, over and above regular benefit plans. They can also be used to claim items not covered by the core plan and they work by providing employees with a set amount of money annually, which they can use at their own discretion on any health-related expenses. 

With regards to eye health, it would include things such as eye glasses, prescription sunglasses, contact lenses, or other items associated with an employees’ eye health.

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