Work Related Eye Injuries
If you work with chemicals, lasers, biological materials, dust or heavy machinery, you are probably aware of your risk of workplace eye injuries. But, there is one group of workers that may not realize their eyes are in danger. If you spend your day working at a computer, you are at risk of developing computer vision syndrome.
This syndrome refers to a group of eye and vision-related problems that are the direct result of prolonged computer use.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
- Eye strain
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Sensitivity to glare or light
- Difficulty changing focus
- Changes in color vision
- Flickering sensations
- Dry eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Red eyes
- Burning or sore eyes
- Eye fatigue
- Neck tension
If you think you think you may have computer vision syndrome, see your eye doctor. Your injury is treatable. Remember: working with computers doesn’t have to result in eye injury. There are several steps you can take to prevent developing this syndrome.
Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome
1. Get regular eye exams. Let your doctor know that you use a computer at work. Your doctor will check your overall eye health and look for signs of Computer Vision Syndrome.
2. Follow the 20/20/20 rule. After twenty minutes of computer use, give your eyes a 20 second break while you focus your eyes on something 20 feet away.
3. Take breaks. Many workers limit themselves to two 15 minute breaks during the work day. Try to get out of your chair once each hour. Walk to the printer, make a copy, or just stand at your desk and stretch. This will give your eyes and your muscles a break.
4. Consider computer eyewear. If you are heavy electronics user, you may want to consider special glasses to alleviate eye strain. To learn more, talk to your eye doctor.
The pain and discomfort of computer vision syndrome is very real. It can temporarily prevent you from doing your job and from engaging in other activities that require your eyes, like reading or cooking. You should not feel uncomfortable about applying for California workers’ compensation for your condition. If your employer gives you a hard time, contact an attorney with experience in workplace injury cases.