Glaucoma Awareness is Crucial
Often called “the sneak thief of sight,” glaucoma happens so gradually that many people don’t know they have it until significant blindness occurs. In fact, there are no symptoms of glaucoma, and 40% of vision can be lost before a person notices.
Fortunately, glaucoma is also the most preventable form of blindness, and the best defense is getting a regular eye exam. The earlier the disease is caught, the greater chance of preventing any or additional vision loss.
But what can be done for those who already suffer vision loss from glaucoma? Since the vision loss from glaucoma can’t be restored once it’s lost, many individuals need accommodations to remain effective in their jobs.
Fortunately, adaptations for workers with glaucoma are simple, inexpensive, and involve just three basic steps.
- Reduce the glare. For those who use a computer, reducing glare is essential for seeing what’s on the screen. This can be done using a monitor filter or an anti-glare matte screen. Keeping monitors away from windows will also reduce screen glare.
- Create contrast. Window light also decreases contrast on a computer screen, making it harder for anyone to see, especially those with vision loss from glaucoma. In addition to keeping monitors away from windows, consider using window coverings that can block light from coming in if necessary. Alternating the color of carpet, desk, and walls can also help to create contrast in an office space and make navigating while moving about much easier and safer.
- Clear a path. A straightforward way of walking and moving about in the workplace isn’t just a good idea for those with vision problems; it’s a good idea for everyone’s safety. However, when contrast and glare are problems, a clear path for navigating your workspace is doubly essential for safety.
In addition to the above suggestions, individuals with partial vision loss can also use special computers that enlarge documents to help them see information better. Another option that many find helpful is wearing tinted computer glasses to help reduce screen glare as well as increase contrast.
If you have glaucoma, communication with the people in your life is crucial for your ability to remain effective in your job and help others understand your situation. So, remember to communicate with your…
- Employer. Let your boss know of any accommodations that will help you continue to do your job well, even with vision loss from glaucoma.
- Co-Workers. Let them know of your situation. They’ll likely be happy to help you keep the work environment safe.
- Family & Friends. They also want to help you stay safe, so don’t be afraid to tell them about your glaucoma.
These individuals can help keep you safe and effective in the workplace, and they may even have additional suggestions for helping you see better that you hadn’t thought of yet. In addition, telling the people in your life about your glaucoma will help create awareness of this disease that The National Eye Institute says will increase 58% by 2030 to affecting 4.2 million people.
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Take a few minutes to learn more about glaucoma and to find out who’s most at risk and how best to prevent blindness caused by glaucoma.