Nine out of 10 employees say that the quality of their work has been negatively impacted by problems with their vision – and, more alarming, half admit that this is a regular occurrence, according to results from the 2015 annual Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey, supported by Transitions Optical.
The survey, which explored top visual complaints in the workplace, revealed that both indoor and outdoor light are largely to blame – with six out of 10 employees saying they are bothered by light at work.
These findings build on results from Transitions Optical’s 2014 survey, which found that visual disturbances at work – ranging from tired or dry eyes, to light and vision-related headaches – affect nearly all employees, leading them to take multiple breaks throughout the day to rest their eyes.
In line with the 2014 results, the most common vision problems reported by employees in the 2015 survey included tired eyes (40 percent); dry eyes (31 percent); headaches (27 percent); and blurry vision (21 percent). Light was the top complaint – with employees saying they are bothered by a wide range of disturbances including bright, glaring light and light reflected off of a computer screen, personal device or other surfaces. In total, 56 percent of employees said that light bothers them at work – with the majority of employees saying they are affected primarily by light outdoors, or a combination of light indoors and outdoors.
The survey also explored the demographics of those affected the most by visual disturbances while on the job. Overall, parents, those between the ages of 18-44, and those who work outdoors or a combination of indoors and outdoors were more likely to say that the quality of their work frequently suffers as a result of vision problems (TABLE 2). These groups were also significantly more likely to say that light, specifically impacts the quality of their work – with Hispanic Americans significantly more likely than Non-Hispanic Whites to say this.
While vision problems affect nearly all employees, just 13 percent of employees say they have addressed these issues with their employers – and just half say they discussed workplace vision problems during their last eye exam. Less than one-third said that they specifically talked about light-related vision problems their eyecare professional.
“This is unfortunate, considering vision problems caused by light and glare are among the easiest to address – since eyewear options, like Transitions® lenses and anti-reflective coatings, can help to enhance visual comfort and reduce glare,” said Jonathan Ormsby, strategic account manager, Transitions Optical. “Our research demonstrates a tremendous opportunity for both employers and eyecare professionals to proactively address vision issues with employees, and encourage them to ask for eyewear options to help them see better both on the job and in their everyday lives.
Transitions Optical recently expanded its family of products to include more eyewear options to meet the everyday needs of both indoor and outdoor workers. Transitions XTRActive lenses provide more activation for extra protection – helping to shield the eyes from harsh light indoors with a comfortable hint of tint – and are the darkest Transitions everyday lens outdoors.
To help educate about the importance of eye exams and quality vision wear, available through a vision benefit, for the workforce, Transitions Optical offers a variety of employee- and employer-focused materials. These can be accessed free of charge through the Transitions Healthy Sight Working for You public education program.
Complimentary vision savings calculators and other employee education materials are available through HealthySightWorkingforYou.org.