At Risk - Computer
Screen Glare and Eye Damage - BSI Staff
the amount of technology used in today’s world increases, so do
the concerns for health and safety. Numerous persons who utilize
computers on a regular basis complain of difficulties with their vision. Scientific
research conducted by experts in the field indicate that, though it is
common for discomfort and fatigue for the eyes, there is no permanent
damage from using computers on a regular basis. There was one study,
completed in Japan in 2004, which did however, find an increased risk
for myopic (nearsighted) individuals who use computers on a regular basis
and an incidence of Glaucoma.
provides estimated statistics, which indicate more than sixty million Americans
alone, suffer from eye related problems from the use of computers. The
majority of research and complaints by those who use computers on a regular
long-term basis involves eyestrain and headaches. These issues are
not the result of the monitor or computer itself, but instead result from
a combination of factors. In regards to eyestrain, there are some
optometrists who believe it can be of a repetitive nature, similar to carpal
tunnel syndrome. Regardless of the fact that there is little
to no evidence of permanent eye damage being caused by the computer, it
is important for the users to reduce the amount of strain and fatigue.
There are many different possible-contributing factors
to eye problems related to computer use. They include:
- Using bifocals which are set for a typical reading distance of sixteen
inches, and where computer monitors are usually further away than sixteen
- The set distance of the computer monitor causing the worker to focus
on one specific distance for a long period of time.
- The fact that information on a computer monitor is brightest in the
middle then fades out, as it gets closer to the edge. This causes
the eyes to overwork to compensate and can result in strain to the eyes.
- Prolonged use of the computer without adequate breaks, causing increased
stress and strain to the eyes.
- Inadequate or improper placement and/or use of lighting. (glares too
much or is too dark).
- Other eye problems. (allergies, dry eyes, unaligned eye muscles, etc.)
There are simple steps one can take to limit the amount
of eye fatigue or strain you may experience when working at a computer for
long periods of time, including:
- Moving the monitor at least twenty inches from your eyes and keeping
it at eye level.
- Taking twenty-second “eye breaks” and focusing on objects
far away during the breaks. Try to incorporate these breaks every
thirty minutes of work time.
- Use of document holders to keep your eyes from constantly having to
refocus on different media with different lighting.
- Reduce the glare on the screen. (eliminate or reducing overhead or direct
light, invest in a LCD Glare filter)
- Use Glare Guard to reduce glare.
- Rob rotation, such as switching tasks every 30-60 minutes in order to
reduce strain on eyes and increase overall productivity by being active.
Eyestrain can be prevented or greatly reduced by implementing
a few of the changes listed above, increasing the overall health and productivity
of the workplace. If your office has yet to make such positive chances,
talk to the health and safety director, as it can significantly reduce workers
compensation and insurance claims while creating a healthier, happier workplace.