With growing evidence of a link between eye health and overall health, and to an array of chronic medical conditions, voluntary vision benefits are valuable to both employers and employees. Here are some ways to help improve vision at the workplace, encourage enhanced employee health and more effectively manage health care costs:
Stop the Strain: The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has made employees more productive and connected, but it has also had an unintended side-effect of digital eye strain that can result in an array of health issues. Digital eye strain is defined by The Vision Council “as physical discomfort felt after prolonged exposure to digital screens and can result in symptoms such as dry and irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, neck and back pain and headaches.” To help prevent digital eye strain, people should keep computer screens about 30 inches away from their eyes and rest their eyes every 15 minutes, all of which reduces dry eye and helps maintain eye health.
Regular Exams: The eyes are a window to overall health, with regular eye exams playing an important role in identifying and managing serious, chronic conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and some tumors. How? Our eyes contain blood vessels, nerves and other structures that may be affected by chronic illness, and signs of these conditions can be identified by eye health professionals during routine exams, enabling for earlier diagnosis and treatment.
Integrate Benefits: To help improve eye health and overall care, some employers are embracing an integrated approach to vision and medical benefits that support patients and health care professionals with information and proactive clinical interventions. These programs offer several advantages by combining medical and vision coverage, such as automatic referrals for disease management programs and telephone reminders about annual exams for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or vascular disease.
Employers are in a unique position to help employees take charge of their eye health and, in the process, improve their overall health. For more information about employee eye health, click here.