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Computer Vision Syndrome: A different kind of 'work-sight' injury

Many North Carolina residents who spend their day working at a computer know that developing carpal tunnel syndrome is a major risk. In many cases, offices may not provide the proper equipment to prevent this painful workplace injury, which is caused by repetitive motion and improper body positioning.

Meanwhile, many office workers may not be aware how damaging extended computer usage can be for their vision. Yet, just like any other ergonomic stress issue, this problem, known as Computer Vision Syndrome, can be minimized if employers take the proper steps to reduce eye strain.

Recent studies have shown that the kind of eyestrain caused by using a computer for several hours each day can be damaging to your eyesight. The eyes use muscles to focus and refine vision. Because many people sit close to their computer screens, the muscles can get overworked and strained, which can lead to long-term vision problems.

Computer-related vision problems are actually the top complaint received by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for office workers. Furthermore, the National Eye Institute has noted a whopping 66 percent increase in the cases of myopia, or nearsightedness, since computers became a workplace fixture.

Other studies have also linked glaucoma to repeated eye stress, which does not bode well for many office workers in Greenville.

Employers can, however, take some simple steps to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome, which include encouraging employees to take short breaks from the computer screen and encouraging regular visits to eye doctors. This way, employees can minimize long-term damage to their sight and maintain productivity.

Knowing that vision problems are a major concern among thousands of workers across the country, it may be important to understand how the daily tasks of your job could be jeopardizing your ability to work in the future. If repetitive stress injuries become serious enough to prevent you from working for any length of time, it may be worthwhile to explore the possibility of workers' compensation benefits to cover potential medical treatments and provide the opportunity to focus on the health of your eyes.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Overworked Eyes: Will Your Computer Make You Go Blind?" Robert Joyce, July 5, 2012

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