Dry Eyes May Be More Than Just Irritating
There is nothing more nagging than dry and tender eyes, besides being the employer to a series of people with an epidemic of chronic dry eyes, decreasing the productivity of your organization. There are a record number of blepharitis cases hitting the emergency room near you, even the best of work atmospheres can succumb to eye issues without the proper precautions in place.
Plaguing offices around the globe is an endemic situation that is having employers lose hours of productivity, translating into profit loss. People working in office spaces are checking into hospitals in accumulating numbers with symptoms ranging from redness to severe pain to the inability to focus or concentrate. For workers that make a living staring at a computer screen, that can lead to huge problems.
There are estimates that as many as 15% of employees suffer from more than just dry eyes, they have a condition called blepharitis that is chronic and can be debilitating. An eye disorder that can cause severe swelling of the eyelid, it can result in secondary infections or systemic edema, which is difficult to combat.
Blepharitis occurs from conditions that are difficult to overcome in today’s workplace. The combination of screen glare, air conditioning and dry heat and bright fluorescent lights, are all breeding grounds for lost work and wages among clerical and computer-based careers.
Although seemingly a condition of the eye, technically, the problem results from inflammation of the eyelid. Due to the lack of moisture in the eye and sometimes the addition of bacteria, blepharitis can come in two various forms.
Anterior blepharitis stems from a bacterial infection and affects the front outside of the eyelid where the eyelashes are attached. It causes dandruff like flakes around the eye and eyelashes and can be very painful.
Posterior blepharitis is a chronic disorder where there is a dysfunction of the meibomian gland. A gland whose sole function is to add lubrication to the eye by secreting oils, when it can’t keep up with the demand of a workplace environment, it becomes a more than irritating handicap.
Often, a person who is suffering from extreme blepharitis will have both types causing varying degrees of a detriment for the sufferer. The reason it can pose a problem in the workplace is that it is often arduous to treat, and finding a permanent solution for relief, is not always possible leading to a systemic disability for the worker.
Blepharitis is more than just dry, tired eyes. The symptoms can include crusting, flaking, burning, tearing, redness in the eyelid margins, irritation, and itching. For some, these symptoms can become overwhelming and interrupt not only their ability to concentrate but may also lead to work loss.
The treatment of blepharitis depends on the type of condition you are treating. If it is a bacterial infection, then antibiotic ointment will help to clear away the symptoms. Since it is rarely only one type, however, that may only partially take care of the problem. For other types of blepharitis, the cure may not be as simple.
Good eye hygiene is essential to keeping it at bay. Using warm compresses is an excellent way to reduce inflammation. Since inflammation leads to a good majority of the symptoms, including the lessening of oil secretion, the more you can calm the edema; the better the condition will become. Often, it is a cyclical illness that once you get on top of, it is much more controllable.
Other habits that an employee can benefit from is taking frequent breaks to give eyes a chance to rest and rejuvenate. Blinking is mostly an involuntary act, but when you have blepharitis, making the conscious effort to blink frequently can help to moisten the eye and keep it from drying out. The more you blink, the more lubrication you will supply to your eye.
Over the counter remedies may also help to decrease inflammation in the eye. Using them throughout the day will assist the disease from becoming worse and leading to a severity of symptoms.
If an individual doesn’t find relief with nonprescription medications, or medical intervention, then there are more invasive and permanent solutions such as punctal plugs that will increase the surface lubrication on the eyeball.
As an employer, there are things that you can do to foster the health of your employees. Adding a humidifier, cleaning air ducts, and frequently replacing filters, are all ways that you can help to keep your employees healthy. Also, creating an organizational environment that caters to flexibility and breaks from screen time can help too. Curing environmental conditions such as blepharitis will benefit not only the health of your employees but your overall organizational production.