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Increased computer time can cause multiple eye strain issues

Complaints from Californians experiencing extreme eye strain while working from home have increased exponentially during the past year. Many people now spend as many as 13 hours per day in front of a computer screen, much of it while working from home. Employers who neglect to address this issue may find themselves confronting new problems.

What is computer vision syndrome?

About 90% of computer users reported experiencing some type of eye discomfort in 2020. Although excessive screen usage is not likely to lead to permanent eye damage, it could lead to workers’ compensation claims if employers don’t properly address this problem. The range of eye problems that have occurred over the past year includes dry eyes, tired eyes, headaches, blurred vision, screen glare and associated neck pain, all of which are associated with digital eye strain. While most are just temporary nuisances, sometimes digital eye strain can lead to more permanent damage.

The at-home conundrum

Many at-home workers sitting in front of a computer screen have indicated that their employers have offered little support when it comes to eye strain problems beyond offering their workers an annual eye exam with an optometrist. However, routine eye tests don’t go far enough when it comes to assessing eye-strain problems creative by a computer work environment.

Nevertheless, employers still have a duty to their employees working at home when it comes to excessive eye strain. At a minimum, employers should conduct display screen assessments to determine if something needs to be adjusted in a home work environment and then act accordingly.

What if my employer won’t listen?

Any employer who won’t listen to employees’ claims about working conditions can leave themselves open to workers’ comp issues. Digital eye strain is an emerging public health issue and should be taken seriously by any operation that uses computers.

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