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Safety Tips | Office safety | Workstations

Protect your eyes from the computer

January 1, 2011

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Computer vision syndrome, a condition with symptoms including headaches, dry eyes and blurred vision, can occur in any work environment that requires extended periods of time looking at a computer monitor. To help alleviate symptoms of CVS, the St. Louis-based American Optometric Association suggests:

Get a thorough eye exam annually. Even people who do not wear glasses for activities such as reading or driving may need them for computer work. A mild prescription can help prevent vision stress, and many prescriptions are tailored specifically for computer use.

Wear the right glasses. Ensure your optometrist understands your job tasks and time spent looking at the computer monitor. Glasses for reading, driving or distance may not be best for looking at a computer screen. 

Alternate job tasks. Give your eyes a rest from the computer screen by taking breaks or focusing on other work activities such as returning phone calls, making copies or speaking with co-workers. 

Reduce office lighting. Light that is at half-normal office levels is preferred. This can be achieved by removing some of the light bulbs from overhead fixtures and using a desk lamp for tasks requiring additional light.

Minimize screen glare. Many eye problems stem from glare bouncing off the computer screen. This can be reduced by using a glare reduction filter or closing shades or blinds.

Adjust your work area. Ensure your work area is comfortable for you. The computer screen should be placed about 16-30 inches from your eyes, with the top of the screen slightly below horizontal eye level. 

 

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