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Workplace injuries: Office workers risk vision damage

Administrative and office workers in San Diego are not as safe as many would believe. Along with slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall, and musculoskeletal disorder risks, working on a keyboard all day can cause repetitive stress workplace injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Then there is the danger of computer vision syndrome, or digital eyestrain that typically affects people who use computers, tablets, smartphones and e-readers for prolonged periods.

According to the American Optometric Association, the average screen time for many workers is seven hours per day. Computer vision syndrome can lead to eyestrain, blurry vision, dry eyes, headaches and even shoulder and neck pain. In some cases, the problems disappear if the cause is removed, but blurred vision might continue even after computer times are limited.

Ergonomics play a significant role in CVS, and making changes to protect against screen glare can limit eyestrain. Poor posture and improper lighting can increase damage, and proper viewing distance is crucial. AOA recommends resting the eyes for at least 15 minutes after every two continuous hours of screen time. Another method to practice is to look 20 feet away for about 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of work.

California workers are typically eligible for workers' compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages after workplace injuries. However, it might be challenging to prove digital eyestrain to be work-related, mainly because it is a gradual injury with no particular start date. This is where the skills of an experienced San Diego workers' compensation attorney can be an invaluable asset. The lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the ensuing legal and administrative proceedings.

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