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Computer workers at risk for eyestrain and headaches

Office workers in Pennsylvania might assume that their workplaces do not present any serious health hazards. However, all of those hours looking at a computer screen could injure the eyes. The American Optometric Association labels the problem as computer vision syndrome. The strain of viewing digital screens for prolonged periods produces problems like eyestrain, blurry vision, headaches and neck and shoulder pain.

The average American worker looks at a screen seven hours a day. When symptoms develop, a worker should obtain a thorough eye exam. To alleviate the problems, an eye doctor might prescribe corrective lenses or vision exercise therapies.

Recommendations from an eye doctor might also apply to the person's work environment. An employer could adjust a work space to limit strain on the worker by providing an anti-glare screen and positioning a computer screen 15 to 20 degrees below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from the worker's eyes. A worker should also take regular breaks at least 15 minutes after every two hours of screen time. An exercise called the 20-20-20 method could soothe the eyes as well. This method calls for a person to stop every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Employers should be willing to accommodate reasonable requests to prevent a worker from experiencing eyestrain. If a worker experiences resistance from management when asking for help or trying to report the workplace injury, they may want to retain legal counsel. An attorney could file the paperwork for workers' compensation benefits to pay for a medical evaluation or reimburse an employee for lost wages due to a workplace injury. When necessary, an attorney could apply more pressure by filing a lawsuit against an insurer that denies a valid claim.

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Law Office of Richard F. Maffett Experienced Harrisburg, PA Attorney

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