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Having good vision makes it easier to travel, read, play sports and enjoy many other leisurely activities. But where it can make the most difference is in a person’s career.

Whether it’s simplifying day-to-day tasks or the difference between success and failure, seeing clearly can make or break a career. And in many situations, the challenges posed by glasses or contacts can be inconvenient or dangerous.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 million jobs are included in the most common occupations. We’ve listed some of those jobs below and detailed why clear vision is essential to those professions.

  • Health Care: Caring for and saving patients’ lives requires accuracy. When administering medication and owning responsibility for helping the sick, seeing clearly can literally be the difference between life and death. Reading a chart or a prescription leaves no room for error, and when long shifts mean quick naps, and seconds decide the outcome of emergencies, having great vision at all times is crucial.
  • Food Service: Wrong ingredients? Wrong check? Wrong change? The livelihoods of restaurateurs, chefs, wait staff, delivery drivers and others in the food service industry depend upon providing patrons with an enjoyable dining experience. It’s one of the most fast-paced industries with the smallest profit margins, so precision is important. Add hot kitchens, deep freezers and full, busy hands to the mix, and good vision becomes even more important to the industry.
  • Retail Workers: Consider cashiers, salespersons and other retail roles that deal with tiny price tags, labels, receipts, cash register screens, complex stock codes and stockroom organization. Retail workers need to be able to see small numbers precisely and can’t afford to give someone the wrong price or item. In 2013, Macy’s learned the hard way when a typo meant that shoppers were snatching up gold necklaces on sale for $47, instead of $479. Plus, in many retail establishments, the staff is the face of the brand, so looking good is, very literally, good for business.
  • Office Staff: Paperwork mistakes can cause companies to lose money and more. From screens to paper files, office work nearly always relies on reading. Lighting can be challenging, and computer glare can be bothersome for even the best eyesight.

On-the-Job Tips

All jobs most likely require focusing carefully and thoroughly on work at all times. Even the best job can become tiring and distracting — and the last thing needed is poor vision, so keep these eye health tips in mind, no matter your occupation.

  • Rest eyes frequently throughout the day.
  • Change areas of focus from time to time.
  • Schedule regular eye exams to keep prescriptions up-to-date.

It’s also possible that LASIK could help. The procedure takes about 15 minutes from start to finish, and many people return to work the very next day. Talk to your eye care provider and consider whether LASIK might be a good option, especially if you work in one of the occupations that could benefit from the procedure.

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