Friday, June 20, 2014

Staring at computers all day alters your eyes

As a color scientist you already know that you have to position your display and chair combination so that the top bezel is at the same height as your eyes. The reason is so your eyes are not wide open and dry out. You also avoid sticking a personal fan in the display's USB port and tilt the display face slightly down so you cannot see light fixture reflections.

To my surprise, although this is usually explained in the ergonomics booklets shipping with computers, this is not generally known and scientists can still get research grants to study it (The Osaka Study):

The data obtained in the present study suggest that office workers with prolonged VDT (visual display terminal) use, as well as those with an increased frequency of eye strain, have a low MUC5AC (mucin 5AC) concentration in their tears. Furthermore, MUC5AC concentration in the tears of patients with DED (dry eye disease) may be lower than that in individuals without DED.

Citation: Uchino Y, Uchino M, Yokoi N, et al. Alteration of Tear Mucin 5AC in Office Workers Using Visual Display Terminals: The Osaka Study. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online June 05, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2014.1008.

The paper costs $30, but you can read the current JAMA issue for free if you register.