Have you considered how much your travel nursing skills rely on excellent vision? Whether you’re reading prescriptions, measuring medication dosages, charting, or observing patients’ emotions, razor-sharp eyesight is critical to delivering safe, quality care.
March is Save Your Vision Month – the perfect time to focus on good eye care practices. And to ensure you’re taking full advantage of your Health Carousel vision care benefits! Did you know we have the best travel nurse benefits in the industry? Click here to learn more.
Nurses spend anywhere from one to eight hours daily in front of a computer screen charting, following up with lab results/tests, and supporting patient care. That doesn’t count off-hours time spent scrolling through social media, streaming movies, or engaging in other digital activities.
Prolonged screen exposure can lead to computer vision syndrome (CVS) – aka digital eyestrain – characterized by watery eyes, headaches, blurry vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms are often exacerbated by the fluorescent lights and dry environments common in hospitals.
Other factors can also contribute to poor eye health when you’re constantly on the move, including inadequate sleep, poor nutrition, driving long distances, and lack of time for regular eye check-ups.
Health Carousel helps you focus on smart eye care
See how your Health Carousel vision benefits workhand-in-hand with these 5 strategies to optimize eye health:
1. Schedule an annual eye check-up
Once a year, make time for a comprehensive dilated eye exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist. In addition to checking for any vision issues, a dilated eye exam is the only way to detect glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD),diabetic retinopathy, and other common eye diseases in the early stages, since they often lack visible warning signs. No need to worry the exam will take a bite out of your budget – your MetLife Vision Preferred Provider Organization Plan from Health Carousel has you covered. When you stay in network, the check-up, dilation, and any prescription and refraction for glasses are covered in full after a $10 copay –and there are zero claims to file. MetLife’s large provider network means you can count on finding a vision specialist wherever you happen to currently work.
2. Make sure your glasses or contacts are doing the best possible job
At your annual exam, discuss any concerns with your vision specialist. For example, you may benefit from a glasses prescription to ease eyestrain when using your computer, whether or not you wear glasses for driving or reading. And obvious as it sounds, if you do need glasses – wear them.
Along with covering glasses prescriptions and refraction, your Health Carousel in-network vision care benefits provide a generous allowance for frames – plus 20% savings on any amount you pay over your allowance (other than at Costco) and on additional pairs. If you prefer contacts, rest assured your contact fitting, evaluation, and lenses are all covered. Discounts for laser vision correction are also available.
3. Protect your eyes with the right gear
You want your sunglasses to look great, of course, but it’s also important to choose shades that block 99-100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. Enjoy an up to 20% discount on prescription and non-prescription sunglasses with your Health Carousel benefits. Also, be sure to wear safety glasses, goggles, or other appropriate protective eye gear when you’re playing sports or working on projects around the house or garage that involve airborne particles.
4. Keep an eye on potential issues by knowing your family history
Many eye diseases and conditions are hereditary, sore search the eye health of family members. If you discover you’re at increased risk for glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or other conditions, you can take appropriate preventive steps. These may include routine retinal screening, which is covered by your Health Carousel vision care benefits. If you have issues with your eyes that extend beyond vision correction, your United Healthcare medical benefits cover ophthalmologist-provided care.
5. Remember to break – and blink
Rest your eyes for at least 15 minutes for every two hours you stare at your computer screen. Even better, make it a habit to follow the 20/20/20 rule whenever you’re working at a screen: Every 20 minutes look away at an object 20 feet away (roughly the length of a moving truck) for 20 seconds.
Blinking lubricates your eyes and prevents dryness. Yet when you focus on smartphone, tablet or computer screens, you typically blink at half your normal rate of 15 times per minute. If your eyes still feel overly dry despite frequent blinking, you may want to try over-the-counter artificial tear eye drops. Drink plenty of water, too, since dehydration reduces eye lubrication.
Set your sights on making vision care a priority and take full advantage of the comprehensive travel nurse benefits Health Carousel offers. It’s all part of our full circle of support.