Take the test for environmental problems

Block glare, reflection to prevent vision problems

Several easy tests can help people determine if glare or a reflection on the computer screen is contributing to a set of eye and vision problems known as computer vision syndrome, says James Sheedy, OD, PhD, a clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry.

To determine if glare from a window or overhead lights is a problem, he recommends that people use their hand as a visor to block the source of the light. Most people notice an immediate sense of improvement if glare is a problem. To remedy discomfort from glare, draw the blinds, turn the light out, rotate the workstation, or wear a visor.

Reflections on the computer screen make it difficult to see the image, contributing to eyestrain. To test for reflections on the screen, use a file folder to block the source of light, whether from a window or an overhead light. If the image is clearer, there is a reflection problem. To get rid of reflection problems, purchase an anti-reflection filter for the computer screen, advises Sheedy.

For additional tests, visit Sheedy’s ergonomics site on the Internet (www.DoctorErgo.com). Sheedy’s Web site has a series of tests users can take to find out the most likely source of their problem.

For more information on computer vision syndrome, contact:

Kent M. Daum, OD, PhD, Associate Professor of Optometry, School of Optometry, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0010. Telephone: (205) 934-6763. Fax: (205) 934-6758. E-mail: Kdaum@ icare.opt.uab.edu.

Robert Newcomb, OD, Director of Clinic, The Ohio State University College of Optometry, 338 West 10th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210. Telephone: (614) 292-6019. Fax: (614) 688-5603. E-mail: newcomb.2@osu.edu.

James Sheedy, OD, PhD, Clinical Professor, UC Berkeley School of Optometry, 136 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Telephone: (925) 256-1855. Fax: (925) 256-1857. E-mail: JS@Dr.Sheedy.com. World Wide Web: www.DrSheedy.com.