How to Prevent Visual Problems in the Office

When you think of work-related injuries, you may think of serious accidents such as individuals burning themselves, breaking bones, or even fatalities. The truth is, workplace injuries are not always one isolated incident. In fact, there are more and more visual problems which are occurring in the workplace. These happen over time, as individuals put strain on their eyes each day.

Causes of Visual Problems within the Office

No matter what your position or working environment, there are factors which put stress on your visual health. The following are some of the ways in which visual problems occur:

Computer Screens

We rely heavily on computers and technology to assist us in our everyday lives. Whether you work in an office, a retail position, or any other position; it is not uncommon to focus on a computer screen throughout the day.

When you focus on a computer screen, your eye muscles become fatigued. Computers also reduce the amount of times you blink, which can create dry eyes. While focusing on visual problems related to computers, individuals may experience:

  • Severe irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivities
  • Redness
  • Feeling overly tired

Poor Lighting

Not only can one’s eyes become strained from a computer screen, but if there isn’t enough illumination in the room, it can be hard to see. If you struggle to see your own handwriting for instance, you’re putting a strain on your eyes.

Just as computers do, poor lighting creates the same effects on one’s eyes and vision. It can also cause headaches, stiff necks, and shoulder pain. This is typically because individuals are in awkward positions, trying to read and write in poorly lit settings.

How to Prevent and Reduce Visual Problems in the Office

There are a number of ways in which visual problems can be reduced within the office. By taking the following steps, you can make the office a safer place in terms of visual health: 

  • Move Your Computer Screen: It is important that your computer screen is at an optimal distance from your eyes. If you haven’t already, move your screen so that it is around 20 inches from your eyes. It should also be slightly below eye level, as this will reduce eye strain. In order to make adjustments easier, computers should be selected in which can tilt. 
  • Clean Your Screen: When you regularly dust your screen, you can reduce smudging. Unfortunately, fingerprints and smudges can create contrast issues, which increase the level of glare. If the glare from your computer screen is creating visual problems, then you should consider a glare filter for your screen. 
  • Change Your Immediate Environment: If you cannot adjust your computer screen, then focus on your surrounding environment. For instance, an adjustable chair can help you stay below eye level. You should also change any harsh lighting. Not only will harsh lighting strain your eyes, but it can create further glare on a computer screen. 
  • Rest Your Eyes: Whether you are focused on a computer or paper documents, you should be resting your eyes every 20-30 minutes. For a minute or so, focus on anything else. Look at your feet, the ceiling, or simply take a little walk. This will help you break visual focus, resting your eyes.
  • Install a Humidifier: In order to prevent dry eyes, a humidifier can add moisture to the room in which you’re working. An air cleaner is also a beneficial idea, as it will keep the air clean and free from excessive amounts of dust

If you are experiencing chronic, persistent eye pain, then you need to see your local physician or optometrist. They will be able to assist you further, especially if you are in need of glasses or a stronger prescription. There are various medical factors that create eye strain, so address any visual problems as soon as symptoms surface.


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