When Minnesota workers are required to spend long work days staring at a computer, they can suffer from what is known as computer vision syndrome or digital eyestrain. There are a number of symptoms associated with CVS, including blurry vision, headaches and eyestrain. While these symptoms are usually temporary, they can become recurring problems that could continue to worsen over time.
There are certain things that employers and employees can do to reduce the symptoms of CVS or digital eyestrain. For example, employers can ensure that company computers are positioned about 20 to 28 inches away from the employee. An antiglare screen can reduce eyestrain. Employees should also be encouraged to rest their eyes using the 20-20-20 method. This method has employees stop every 20 minutes to look at a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Employees should be reminded to blink regularly to help prevent their eyes from drying up.
Those who suffer from chronic CVS should visit their eye care professional to come up with a plan to alleviate the symptoms. In some cases, workers may be diagnosed with the syndrome, meaning the employer could be required to make reasonable accommodations for those who suffer from recurring or worsening symptoms.
CVS or digital eyestrain can have an impact on workers’ productivity and health. If the symptoms are recurring or result in permanent injuries, workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover the cost of their medical care and a portion of their wages if they have to miss a certain number of work days to recover. After the workplace injuries have been reported to the employer, an attorney can often be of assistance in preparing and submitting the required claim.