Compensation for Computer Vision Syndrome in Pennsylvania
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Also called digital eye strain, computer vision syndrome is a type of eye injury that can affect anyone who spends more than three hours a day in front of a computer screen. The longer one spends looking at digital screens, the more discomfort and other symptoms tend to increase, such as:
- Blurry or double vision
- Difficulty focusing
- Dry, red or burning eyes
- Eye fatigue
- Neck, back or shoulder pain
- Sensitivity to light
Workers at Risk for Computer Vision Syndrome
Millions of workers around the world are at risk for computer vision syndrome, especially those over the age of 40. Some at-risk professions our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers have helped include:
- Administrative assistants
- Flight Controllers
- Graphic artists
- Secretaries and other office workers
How to Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome
The American Optometric Association (AOA) reports that the average American worker spends seven hours a day on the computer. Workers can help prevent or alleviate computer vision syndrome by following the 20-20-20 rule, which requires one to take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes. The AOA also recommends:
Appropriate Eye Care
Some people who do not normally wear glasses may require glasses for computer use. Others may have difficulty focusing or experience other vision problems only when using the computer. These problems may be addressed with vision therapy, which helps to reinforce the eye-brain connection.
Proper Body Positioning
It is generally considered more comfortable to view a computer screen while looking downward. The center of the computer screen should therefore be approximately 15 to 20 degrees below eye level and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes. It is also recommended that any reference materials be kept above the keyboard and below the monitor so that workers do not have to move their heads to look back and forth between the materials and the computer screen.
Adequate Rest Breaks
Eyestrain can be prevented by taking frequent breaks to rest the eyes. Follow the 20-20-20 rule whenever possible and after two hours of continuous computer use, rest the eyes for 15 minutes.
Ergonomic Work Station
The body should be supported by a padded chair and feet should rest flat on the floor. Arm chairs can be adjusted to support arms; however, wrists should not rest on the keyboard while typing.
Reading or staring at a computer screen can cause a decrease in spontaneous eye blink rate, which can lead to digital eye strain. Workers may also widen their eyes when working on the computer, which can also cause the eyes to dry out and become irritated.
Glare on a computer screen can make it especially difficult for the eyes to focus. Glare can be prevented by replacing older monitors with new, glare-resistant ones, keeping computer screens clean, and reducing the amount of bright, overhead light.
Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation for Computer Vision Syndrome
Approximately 58 percent of adults in the U.S. have experienced digital eyestrain as a result of working on the computer either at home or in the office, according to the AOA. With the average U.S. worker spending seven hours a day on the computer, computer vision syndrome continues to be a growing safety issue in many industries.
Digital eye strain is reversible – workers who suspect they are suffering from it should seek medical attention from an optometrist as soon as possible. They may be prescribed medication or required to take time off away from the computer to allow their eyes to recover. Workers in Pennsylvania who develop work-related injuries may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits including all necessary medical treatments and a portion of their salary if the condition caused them to miss work.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Workers Suffering With Computer Vision Syndrome
If you suffer from computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain, contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Our skilled attorneys represent clients in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. Contact us online or call 888-PITT-LAW today to schedule a free consultation.
Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Lansdowne, Bensalem and Reading, where we serve clients in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County, as well as those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.