Eyesight and the VDU / DSE user

Although people would like to believe so - the evidence so far shows no link to the deterioration of vision and the use of computer screens.  However, constant focussing at close distances will put added stress on the eyes' focussing muscles.  Your eye muscles can spasm if you use them for prolonged periods on a near vision task, which can be very uncomfortable.

Computer users should ...

At regular intervals look at and focus on something in the far distance for a few seconds - for example when you hear your computer hard drive do a timed save would be a good trigger.
Blink regularly - especially important for contact lens wearers.
Attend regular eye examinations, and use the prescribed correction as directed by your optician.
Plan proper breaks in the working day, and take them.

All muscles become tired with use, 'eyestrain' and headaches occur if the user has poorly corrected vision, or uses a computer screen for prolonged periods.  Like any task, moderation and rest  ensure comfort.  Eye muscles differ from skeletal muscles (e.g. the muscles in in your arms). Skeletal muscles increase in mass with prolonged hard work, the muscles in your eyes are called 'smooth' muscles and do not increase in mass regardless of what workload is given to them - if they did your vision would never ever be stable!

The Law

The law on DSE use in the UK states that if you are a regular user of display screen equipment then you employer is obliged to pay for your routine eye examination (normally every two years).

Some employers have a scheme in place with a local optician or use nationally approved eyecare vouchers.

Spectacles for screen use only.

If you are prescribed spectacles solely for screen use then your employer is obliged by law to help towards the cost.  They normally offer around £50-£60 towards your spectacles.  This should enable you to find a pair of specs within that budget or contribute towards a better pair.  Please note that vey few people require spectacles ony for screen use.  If you also need them for reading then your employer is not obliged to pay towards them.

If you are an employer and want to see what Robert Stanley Opticians can offer you, please drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .