When people in Minnesota think of work-related repetitive strain injuries, their minds likely turn first to carpal tunnel syndrome and other conditions of the extremities. However, the muscles of your eyes can also become strained from overexertion. A condition called computer vision syndrome can develop as a result.

According to WebMD, computer vision syndrome can result in pain and other symptoms, such as headaches, eye irritation, double vision and blurriness. CVS is a collective term that includes more than one eye problem, but the common denominator is that the issues relate to prolonged use of computers or other electronic devices.

If your job requires you to look at a computer screen for hours at a time, your eyes constantly have to focus and refocus. Unlike the page from a book, computer screens can produce glare and have changing images that require your eyes to react. All this is in addition to the back-and-forth movement required to read words on a screen. With your eyes getting such a workout every day, it is no wonder that symptoms of computer vision syndrome show up in 50% to 90% of people whose job requires computer work.

If you are experiencing symptoms of computer vision syndrome, there are things you can do to improve them. Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by focusing on something else. It is best to look at something 20 feet away if possible, although this may be difficult if you work in a small, windowless office. You can adjust the settings on your monitor so that contrast and brightness are more comfortable for you, position your monitor so that it is at least 20 inches away from your face and make adjustments to reduce glare.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.