Many people in the working community understand the struggles that come along with staring at a computer screen all day. From headaches to eye strains, looking at a computer too long can lead to negative consequences. Other side effects include less productivity as well as lapses in thinking while working.
The American Optometric Association (AOA), has stated that computer workers are most likely to complain about vision-related health problems. Studies have shown that over 50 and 90 percent of computer users are hindered by the symptoms of computer vision syndrome, including dry eyes, blurred vision, double vision, eye irritation and eye strain.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Optometry conducted a study which compared computer vision syndrome with worker productivity. The study found that there is a direct correlation between worker productivity and proper vision correction. In addition, it was discovered that workers with less than optimum vision correction took longer to complete computer-related tasks.
Another issue that businesses may encounter is determining whether it is cost efficient to provide workers with vision correction insurance benefits. The study theorized that if worker productivity increased by just 5 percent (“a conservative estimate in light of the UAB study results”), then the costs of providing corrective vision insurance would be more than offset by the increase in productivity.
Another result from the study concludes that workers with musculoskeletal problems, arising from computer vision syndrome issues, may have those problems decreased or eliminated with proper vision care. In addition, those workers spending more time in front of the computer than the average computer worker (employees in accounting, document editing, CAD (computer-assisted design) work, electronic design and engineering) can benefit greater from corrective eyewear coverage.
The study also found that reduced productivity even occurs among computer workers who did not know they had vision issues. Without proper vision correction, their performance on a specific task can decrease by as much as 20 percent.
Computer vision syndrome is fast becoming a major public health issue. The AOA, after surveying optometrists throughout the United States, has reported that over 10 million eye exams are performed annually due to vision problems related to computer use.
In conclusion, whether you work at your computer screen for a few hours or all day long, it is wise to consult an eye professional if you are having any vision problems.