It’s assumed that office workers don’t face a ton of risks on a day to day basis. Digital eye strain is a very serious concern, however, as it can have a drastic impact on a worker’s comfort and may even lead to more serious vision issues down the line. The American Optometric Association explains some of the factors that cause digital eye strain and what can be done to prevent it.
Digital eye strain has a wide range of causes, many of which existing within an office environment. Contributing factors include problems with seating, harsh overhead lighting, too much glare, and poor distance between monitors and workers. As a result of these factors, many people experience symptoms which can be highly uncomfortable during a workday, such as blurry vision, headaches, dry eyes, pain in the shoulders and neck, and pain around the eyes. When experiencing these symptoms, a person must visit their eye doctor to determine the true underlying cause.
From here, a variety of treatments can be recommended. When it comes to the proper positioning of the monitor, it should be placed from 20 to 28 inches away from a person’s eyes, with the monitored positioned below the eye line. Lighting should also be reasonable for the environment. Harsh overhead lighting or light sources coming from behind the worker should be remedied to reduce glare. Employers can use anti-glare screens in this case or revamp the office layout so it’s more favorable.
Employers must also provide breaks to workers as needed. After about 20 minutes spent staring at the computer, take a brief 20-second break to look away from the screen. After two hours of work, take a 15-minute break to give your eyes even more of a rest.