A New Occupational Injury Threatens Businesses

Posted on: December 9th, 2011 by Leaders' Choice Staff No Comments

A New Occupational Injury Threatens BusinessesComputer Vision syndrome (CVS) is more common than carpal tunnel syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders,according to an article in HR News, a trade publication.

According to the American Optometric Association, CVS is characterized
by visual symptoms, which result from interaction with a computer display or its environment.

In most cases, symptoms occur because the visual demands of the task exceed the visual abilities of the individual to comfortably perform the task. Symptoms of CVS are eyestrain and fatigue, dry eyes, headaches and neck and shoulder pain.

The association notes that video-display-terminal (VDT)-related vision problems are at least as significant a health concern as the musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, that receive more attention.

“The vision problems experienced by VDT workers are varied and are difficult to grasp and understand by those who don’t specialize in vision.

“The misunderstanding may also be the result of unfounded reports of cataracts caused by VDTs, exaggerated manufacturer claims about the need for UV and other radiation protections, and misleading statements about the effects of specialty tinted and coated lenses (e.g., computer glasses) among other products.”

In most cases, CVS is treatable and modifi cations to the workplace and regular practices can help. According to VSP VisionCare, an eyecare insurance company, some simple steps to combat CVS include:

Keep blinking. It washes your eyes in naturally therapeutic tears.

Remember 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away, minimum.

Get the right light. Good lighting is healthy for your eyes. So, keep bright lighting overhead to a minimum. Keep your desk lamp shining on your desk, not you. Try to keep window light off to the side, rather than in front or behind you. Use blinds and get a glare screen. Position the screen to reduce reflections from windows or overhead lights.

Monitor your monitor. Keep it at least 2 inches from your eyes. The center of the screen should be about 4 to 6 inches below your eyes. Also, make sure it’s big enough and with just
the right brightness and contrast.

Adjust the screen so you look at it slightly downward and are about 24 to 28 inches away. Adjust the screen settings to where they are comfortable — contract polarity, resolution, flicker, etc.

Wear those computer specs. Doctors can prescribe glasses just for seeing the computer screen well. Staff should wear the appropriate corrective lenses while at the computer.

At Leader’s Choice Insurance Services our mission is to lower your workers’ compensation costs to the barest minimum.