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Visual needs in different occupational settings

1 May 2000


The occupational setting is quite diverse in its visual demands. Part of the duty of the practicing optometrist is to address the visual needs of the patient and thereby provide the appropriate treatment and information to the patient to satisfy those varying visual needs for optimum vision. We surveyed four occupations concerning vision in the workplace: travel agent, physical therapist, private investigator, and paramedic. From the collected data it is very apparent that each of these occupations has a variety of visual tasks that are often associated with visual problems and, hence, this is likely in other fields of work as well. This is where the optometrist has a special place as a problem-solver. Specifically we found that progressive lenses, safety eyewear, and gas permeable contact lenses are underutilized. Also there is plenty of room for improving lighting in the workplace and reducing the amount of headaches and other common near task complaints like dry eyes. Proper communication with the patient about their occupational tasks and hobbies will better enable the optometrist to meet the varying visual needs of patients.


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