Specialists in eye care in Greater London  -   Purley Clinic: 020 8660 0472

Worcester Park Clinic: 020 8330 5364

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Protecting your eyes from visual display screens

As optometrists we are faced daily with patients experiencing various symptoms often related to the use of screens, so we have compiled some useful information to help you.


There is in fact no clinical evidence to suggest that even long term intensive use of V.D.U's causes any permanent eye damage, though patients can experience temporary discomfort that can lead to reduced productivity, lost work and reduced job satisfaction.

Computer vision symptoms experienced

- Tired eyes

- Eyestrain

- Irritated, itchy or sore eyes

- Blurred Vision

- Headaches and neck ache amongst a few others

Why you experience computer vision symptoms

- Insufficient and infrequent rest periods

- Incorrect positioning of the screen and or/documents.

- Unsuitable lighting

- Poorly designed work station.

- Forgetting to blink, causing dry eye situations, especially with contact lens wearers.

Lighting is essential and a simple test can be used if ambient lighting is acceptable. Cup your hands over your eyes to form a peak or visor. If the comfort of your vision is immediately improved from blocking the bright light then you should look for ways to improve the lighting around your workstation.


Dim the lights - The ratio of surrounding light to monitor light should be 3 to 1


Minimise glare by blocking sunlight or anti-glare screens

Looking for a solution to your computer vision symptoms?

Purley Clinic: 020 8660 0472

Worcester Park Clinic: 020 8330 5364

Avoiding computer vision symptoms

Protecting your eyes can be as easy as changing the position or location of the monitor. So, even if you have not experienced any visual discomfort the following tips for setting up an eye friendly workstation can help you to minimise the risks.

Take frequent breaks at least every 20 minutes.  Refocus at distance, relax your muscular action of the visual system

Screen settings and positions to help avoid symptoms

- You should adjust your screen to levels of brightness and contrast that you find comfortable.

- Screen should be clean and preferably with an anti glare protection, or incorporate the anti-glare into a pair of spectacles.

- The screen should be between 33 and 59 cms from your eyes.

- When setting up software, select a suitable font size (12pt or above)

- The centre of the screen should be 10 to 15 cm below your natural eye level, keeping any

 documents at roughly the same distance, avoid refocusing from documents to screen and



Try to eliminate any unnecessary airflow over your eyes from a draft, as this can exacerbate the dry eye issues. Ask us for recommendations requiring artificial year supplements.

Your legal entitlement at work

Your employer must:


- Provide an eye examination, paid for by your

 employer or if your company belongs to certain

 groups who provide eye care vouchers to be used at

 designated practices, of which we are accredited,

 then they should provide these.

- It has often occurred that many companies insist that

 you use certain practices, but if you decide to choose

 your own practice then the company should honour

 your choice.

- Your company should pay / contribute towards

 spectacles that require specific VDU use.

- Provide adequate breaks or changes of activity to

 reduce visual fatigue.

- Provide updated health and safety training information

 relating to your workstation.


We as an accredited practice are members of the eye care trust and more info can be obtained from www.eyecare-trust.org.uk


We thank you and trust this provides some assistance for a more comfortable working environment for you.