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The alarming rise of computer vision syndrome

In New Jersey and across the U.S., workers who use computers, tablets, cellphones and digital screens on a regular basis are at a risk for computer vision syndrome. This includes office workers as well as those in manufacturing and industrial operations. Also known as digital eyestrain, CVS is a form of eye injury recognized by the American Optometric Association. Its symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and itchy eyes.

Reading text on a computer screen is vastly different from reading printed material as each word on the screen is made up of light pixels. When viewing computer screens, the eyes have to constantly refocus; they also tend to go back and forth between the screen and keyboard. Issues with screen resolution and contrast, flicker and glare also contribute to eye fatigue. Having the screen too close can result in strain as well.

It's essential that those who are susceptible to CVS have corrective lenses that are up to date. There are also specialty lenses meant just for computer use as they filter out "blue light" and thus reduce eyestrain. Computer users could consider anti-reflective coatings for their glasses since these provide more visual comfort and better light transmission. Lens tints can also benefit those who have to work under overhead fluorescent lights.

Eye injuries like CVS may be covered under workers compensation law; however, those who suffer this worker injury will want to speak with a lawyer before they file for benefits. It might take a medical expert to link the injury to the victim's line of work, and personal injury lawyers may be able to provide such experts. Lawyers may also mount an appeal if the claim is denied and attend the hearing if necessary. Successful workers comp claims might cover medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages.

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