From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Computer Workers View Vision Problems

Sixty-one percent of computer users in the U.S. are concerned about potential vision problems being caused by prolonged use of computers. These results, says a recent survey sponsored by the American Optometric Association, could indicate that what the Association calls “Computer Vision Syndrome,” or CVS, is already an existing problem that may also worsen in the future.

Over 1000 adults were questioned in the survey, which also indicated that computer workers didn’t feel their employers were fully aware of CVS and any of its associated risks.

According to Dr. James Sheedy of the CVS Information Center, CVS incorporates a variety of eye and vision-related problems that can be associated with regular computer use. Symptoms of CVS include eyestrain, blurred vision, dry and irritated eyes, tired eyes and headaches. Additionally, Sheedy considers neck and backaches that result from the way computer users sit to view the computer monitor to be related to CVS.

Sheedy also notes that of the 175 million computer users in the U.S., 70 percent will experience symptoms of CVS. However, according to Sheedy, solutions are available, including adjusting the monitor, wearing computer glasses and using special over-the-counter eye drops.

OSHA’s 1999 proposed Ergonomics Program Standard makes mention of CVS under Title XIV, “Issues on Which OSHA Seeks Comment,” noting that more information and public response on the subject were needed before a clear line between computer use and visual discomfort symptoms could be made.

Source: Safety Online

Editor’s Note: While some eye care professionals have noted the occurrence of vision discomfort linked to computer use, some experts dispute lumping them under the term “Computer Vision Syndrome” and question both the purported causes and frequency of incidence. For example, a 2001 study conducted by the Occupational Medicine Institute at the University of Sassari (Ergonomics Today