National Eye Health Week: How to Prevent Computer Eye Strain at Work

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Health Assured team

23 September 2019

September 23rd marks the beginning of National Eye Health Week—promoting the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests for all.

It’s likely you and your employees use computers and display screen equipment (DSE) daily. While there’s no evidence computer monitors cause eye disease or permanent damage—according to extensive research carried out by the Health & Safety Executive—eye strain caused by computers is still an unpleasant and common issue.


What issues can using DSE cause?

A few. Remember, none of these are serious and permanent, but it’s a good idea to be aware of common computer eye strain symptoms, so you can look out for them in yourself and others:

  • Blurry vision (double vision in the worst cases).
  • Soreness or itching around the eyes.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • General eye discomfort.
  • Difficulty focusing on the screen.

These are more inconvenient or irritating than anything—but still, your eyesight is important.


How to prevent eye strain when using computers

It’s a good idea to make sure employees are taking steps to prevent eye strain when using a computer. There are some simple steps to take to make sure your eyes are looked after:

  • Regular eye tests—these don’t just check your visual acuity, they also screen for other, deeper eye issues.
  • Rest your eyes—look away often, focus on distant objects. Look out of the window. Use this as a brief break from your desk, get up and stretch, for extra health benefits.
  • Make sure the desk area is well lit, and use blinds to reduce powerful sunlight.
  • Use anti-glare measures—on the screen, and your glasses (if applicable).
  • Adjust the monitor’s settings—ensure the brightness and contrast are appropriate and use a blue light filter. The best monitor brightness and contrast settings for eyes are those that match the surrounding environment.


Is there help available for the costs of eye tests?

According to HMRC, eye tests for employees are exempt from tax reporting—and the Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations stipulate that any employee often using display equipment should be provided with an eye test, funded by their employer, upon request.


Call Health Assured on 0844 892 2493 if you have questions about this topic—we’re here to help.

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