Does heavy computer use increase the risk for glaucoma? Yes, according to a study by the University of Japan at Toho. The study was conducted with 10,000 office workers who are heavy computer users:
“… the researchers found that those who were short-sighted and sat in front of computer screens for long hours were at significantly higher risk of developing/having glaucoma - their chances of developing glaucoma were double (compared to non-computer screen watching people).
In the study, out of 500 short-sighted people who spent long hours in front of the computer screen, 350 either had glaucoma or showed symptoms for the onset of glaucoma.”
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that can cause blindness. It can progress rapidly before any symptoms are evident. People who have risk factors for developing glaucoma should be tested regularly. Are risk managers paying enough attention to eyestrain and eye safety when it comes to office workers? Does your firm have an "eye ergonomics" program? Here are some online resources to get you strated.
Vision Health Management: Visual Ergonomics in the Workplace
10 tips for avoiding eyestrain
A dozen things you should know about eyestrain
CCOHS: Eye discomfort in the workplace
NIH: Eye exercises and stretches
BBC: Eye problems
OSHA: computer monitors