A new study proposes to prioritize the treatment of myopia with economic arguments

Did you know that by improving your employees’ sight health you could improve your company’s productivity?

A recent study published in the journal Ophthalmology, indicates that visual impairment and blindness due to uncorrected myopia (ie, being short-sighted) cost the world economy approximately USD 244,000 million in loss of productivity in 2015.

In East Asia, including China, there is the highest burden of loss of productivity of more than USD 150,000 million. The eventual loss of productivity linked to visual impairment and blindness due to uncorrected myopia is greater than the cost of correcting it.

This new study suggests a solution where the correction of myopia could be key.  

“Myopia has always been a real threat to public health, but we anticipate critical levels, it is a public health problem and is projected to affect 50% of the world’s population by 2050,” .

said Prof. Kovin Naidoo, senior vice president

Inclusive Business, Philanthropy and Social Impact of 2.5 NVG, Essilor, and lead author of the study. “Our research shows that this problem has economic consequences, the good news is that the problem can be corrected with a solution that already exists.”

The study concluded that a single investment of USD 20,000 million over 5 years would serve to establish the services in order to provide visual correction for all those who need it, which could potentially lead to significant savings in lost productivity.

“Although this research highlights the connection between myopia and productivity, the consequences are far-reaching,” said Kristan Gross, global executive director of the Vision Impact Institute. “Sight also affects education, child development and road safety, and for countries, several UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as number 1 (End of poverty), number 4 (Quality education), number 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and number 10 (Reduction of inequalities), can not be achieved without a good view “.

However, prevention could be key. Is not only about correcting but making sure the problem is not created in the first place. So here you have some small tips to avoid the increase of vision problems within your staff.

How could you improve the eyes’ health of your employees at the office?

  • With a healthy diet and good nutrition. It is their responsibility to take care of this. However, it has been prove that food that contain omega -3, lutein, zinc and vitamins c, E and A will help with eyes’ health. You can not change their diet, but you could contribute by promoting healthy snacks at the office.
  • Make them aware of the importance of sunglasses, even if you are in a country when it could be not that often that you need them, is not about the sun, it is about the light clarity. Cloudy days that are bright could be as damaging as a sunny day.
  • Make sure they look away from the screen every 30 minutes. You could set up alerts or emails to be sent to their computers… whatever is needed to remind them how important this is.
  • Make sure you include eyes exams on their health plan so they have a revision every year. Countries like the UK have is as an obligation to employers to pay for a sight revision every year and to pay for glasses every 2 years if they are needed for screen related problems. Making an agreement with a local optician could help in getting.
  • Some companies bring experts to talk to their employees about topics that could help them improve any particular side of their lives. For sure your local optician will be happy to give a 30 – 40 minute talk about how to improve their sight and do some free advertising at the same time 🙂

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