By Nigel Little
Ortho-k opticians can help employers comply fully with the 1992 Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) regulations - which were amended in 2002 - by prescribing overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for shortsighted employees who struggle with dry eye and other eye health problems. These conditions are increasingly common in workplace environments given the excessive time spent on screen-based activities which reduce blink rates by up to 80% thereby limiting moisture creation via tear film. This is then further exacerbated by the use of air conditioning which further dries out eyes. No wonder daytime contact lens wearers are desperate to remove their lenses at the end of the day.
However, before employees are able to take advantage of new treatment developments like ortho-k lenses which are only worn while sleeping, they must rely on their employer to have an appropriate system in place for promoting and funding regular eye tests as well as contributing to any associated eye care treatment. However, research undertaken earlier this year by Specsavers revealed that an astonishing 81% of employers did not properly comply with the regulations, with almost two-thirds having no system at all and some 73% failing to provide vouchers for eyecare. Given that only three per cent of employers indicated that their staff were not involved in screen-based activities, it seems clear that ortho-k opticians could have a significant role to play.
The importance of the research findings was underlined by another response where almost half of employees indicated that they valued eyecare as much or more than other employee benefits thus demonstrating their awareness of the importance of maintaining good eye health. This focus on the workplace in terms of its impact on eye health needs to be set against the trend for people to spend increasing amounts of their time outside work also engaged on screen-based activities whether computer, TV or mobile phone. As such, the excessive reliance on near vision is increasingly believed by optical experts to progressively compromise people's ability to see distant objects clearly. Hence the increased importance of the role which ortho-k opticians can play in providing an excellent treatment for shortsightedness, with custom-designed ortho-k contact lenses worn only overnight then removed the following morning.
Check if you are suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses .