Vision Stress at Work: Tips to Cope
All too often vision is taken for granted; many clients and employees feel that routine eye exams are only for those who need corrective lenses. Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced, tech-driven society, the consequences of constant eye strain can be life-altering for employees and costly for companies. 79% of employees report suffering with at least one visual disturbance at work each day. Understanding the cause and impact of vision stress in the office is key to protecting the vision health of your clients and their employees, as well as protecting their bottom line.
Here are some conditions related to vision stress in the workplace that may help you communicate the importance of vision health to your clients.
Near Point Stress
Near point stress is the result of maintaining a close visual focus. In order to focus closely, the ciliary muscle must exert a lot of effort. After prolonged use, without allowing time for recovery, this muscle fatigues. Over time the muscle may begin to spasm, which can cause or worsen nearsightedness or astigmatism. Common symptoms include double vision, headaches, eyestrain, twitching, burning or watery eyes, and even difficulty concentrating.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) describes a variety of eye- and vision-related problems that result from prolonged use of digital devices. Digital devices often make the muscles in the eye work harder; digital text isn’t as sharply defined as printed text and the added glare on the screen can often cause eye strain.
While many of the symptoms may appear to be similar to those of near point stress, the causes are often not as easily corrected. CVS may be caused by poor lighting, glare on a computer screen, uncorrected vision problems, or a combination of these factors.
Both near point stress and Computer Vision Syndrome cause difficulty maintaining focus, which will slow productivity in the workplace and cost your clients money. So what can be done to prevent employee eye strain and boost productivity?
Provide your clients with these tips to protect their employees’ vision and maintain overall productivity.
- First and foremost, encourage employees to have regular comprehensive eye exams. This will solve any uncorrected or under-corrected vision problems that might be amplifying conditions such as near point stress and CVS.
- Be sure to provide your eye examiner with information about your job, so they can give you specific recommendations.
- Keep your work at a “safe” distance. A general rule of thumb is to keep your close work an arm distance away, or as far away as possible.
- Use the 20-20-20 rule.This means your should rest your eyes by taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away. This break will allow your ciliary muscle to stretch and relax.
- Consider low-powered reading glasses as a preventive measure. Reading glasses will reduce the effort needed from your ciliary muscles.
- Adjust computer settings according to personal preferences.
- Reduce the glare on your computer by angling computer monitors away from lights and windows.
- Encourage employees to have annual comprehensive eye exams.
- When setting up computer monitors, be sure they are parallel to employees’ line of sight.
- Cover windows with adjustable blinds.
- Use filters to diffuse overhead lighting.
- Keep overhead lights dimmed.
- Do not place computer monitors directly under overhead lights.
- Incorporate workplace practices like taking short breaks from computer screens.
By sharing these preventive tips and communicating the importance of vision insurance, your clients can take steps to maintain their vision health and employee productivity.
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