One of the by-products of the digital revolution – with most people staring many hours each day at tablets, smart phones and computers – is eye strain.
According to The Vision Council, the average U.S. adult spends more than two hours a day looking at electronic screens. Looking at such screens for too long can result in dry and irritated eyes, blurred vision and eye fatigue, as well as headaches.
Besides the trouble for eyes, using these devices can also result in back and neck pain from that hunched-over position that many people use when on these devices.
Prolonged use can cause “computer vision syndrome,” which manifests itself in a number of symptoms like eye strain, dry eyes, blurred vision, red or pink eyes, burning, light sensitivity, headaches and pain in the shoulders, neck and back.
To help prevent digital eye strain, you should ensure that:
- Your employees sit with their eyes about 30 inches from their computer screen,
- Your employees rest their eyes every 15 minutes, and blink frequently, which helps keep the eyes moist. It’s been found that when people work on computers they blink about one-third as much as they typically would.
- You have proper lighting in the office. Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light, either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting. When you use a computer, ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices.
If possible, turn off the overhead fluorescent lights in your office and use floor lamps that provide indirect incandescent or halogen lighting instead.
- Upgrade your displays. If you have not already done so, replace your old tube-style monitor (called a cathode ray tube, or CRT) with a flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD), like those on laptop computers. LCD screens are easier on the eyes and usually have an anti-reflective surface.
- Adjust computer display settings, which can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Ask your employees to adjust the brightness of their display so it’s approximately the same as the brightness of the surrounding workstation. They can also adjust text size and contrast.
Consider vision benefits
If you don’t already do so, consider offering your workers vision benefits.
First off, your employees would be more apt to get a much-needed pair of glasses that have anti-glare attributes for when they work on computers.
Computer glasses are specially designed for optimizing vision when viewing content on screens, and they can be provided with or without a prescription.
Wearing computer glasses can help users experience more relaxation, sharper focus and reduced blurriness and pixilation, which can cause discomfort unless corrected. The lens designs allow the eyes to relax, adjusting to intermediate-distance objects and reducing glare during prolonged use of digital devices.
Also, workers with vision benefits tend to get regular eye exams, which can identify serious chronic conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and some tumors.
Detecting these symptoms can lead to early diagnosis and better treatment of the conditions.