Computer vision syndrome a common job-related problem

No matter what line of work they are in, many Missouri employees are required to use a computer or digital device as part of their job. Unfortunately, frequent use of a computer screen can cause a medical condition known as computer vision syndrome, or CVS.

CVS can occur when people view digital screens for long periods of time. The condition, which is recognized by the American Optometric Association, can lead to eye strain, blurred vision and headaches. It can also cause a worker's eyes to itch, burn or feel dry. This happens because viewing text and images on a computer screen is not like viewing them on paper. Computers construct letters and images out of tiny pixels of light that can be difficult for eyes to focus on. In order to rest, a person's eyes will automatically attempt to focus on objects other than the computer screen. They will then be forced to refocus on it. The repeated cycle of focus, rest and refocus causes eye strain. Meanwhile, reflections, screen glare, contrast and screen resolution can also cause eye fatigue.

In order to help reduce eye strain, workers can try using glasses specifically designed for computer use. These glasses filter out a computer's blue light, which is the brightest type of light produced by digital screens. Another helpful solution could be to use an anti-reflective lens coating, which can decrease backside reflections and ghost images. Employers who provide CVS eye protection for their employees could boost productivity and prevent injuries.

Workers who suffer on-the-job eye injuries may qualify for workers' compensation benefits that could pay for the resulting medical bills. An attorney can often be helpful with the preparation and submission of the required claim.

Source: EHS today, "Computer Vision Syndrome Decreases Worker Productivity", Brent Motchan, May 15, 2018

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