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Video Display Terminals (VDT’s) and Vision: A Summary Essay

The article titled Video Display Terminals (VDT’s) and Vision (n. d. ) takes into account the threats of computers computer video display terminal (VDT) to human vision and proposes counter measures for their reduction. Common vision-related complaints are ocular discomfort, muscular strain and stress, eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and dry or irritated eyes. Although the analysis of existing research doesn’t show the threat of a permanent damage to eye sight, the concern of weakness of eye sight is there.

VDT related occupations place more demands on workers’ vision than the traditional pen and paper jobs, as more focus and concentration is required in the former. Factors like glare and reflection, lack of precision and definition in letters on screens, incorrect viewing distances place additional demands on eyes, particularly of the older workers’. Eye examinations and occupational eyewear are helpful, but often therapy is required. However, the practice of taking frequent breaks and rest help the most in reduction of eye strain.

Pre-existing vision conditions, such as untreated farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia and binocular vision aggravate eye problems in VDT users. Furthermore, radiation emitted by VDTs doesn’t harm one’s vision but can cause eye irritation in some. However, glare, reflection and shadows of workplace lightening have a significant role in aggravating VDT and vision related complaints. Hence, the brightness of the screen and the surrounding room should be balanced. Also, wearing anti-reflection eyewear is much better than placing filter screens on VDTs.

Moreover, the following adaptations need to be made in the VDT workstations: improve viewing distances and angles, increase display legibility, adjust brightness and contrast of VD screens, adjust peripherals such as mouse and keyboards, etc. Moreover, the VDT workstation furniture (chairs, desks) should be adjustable to individual needs in order to allow operators to sit in comfortable postures. Furthermore, the office environment may need to be artificially controlled and the use of artificial tear drops can be encouraged to eliminate dryness and irritation in eyes.

The use of VDTs is inevitable and unavoidable at the modern workplace; however, correct and adaptable placement of the VDTs, suitable workplace designs, better lightening control, regular eye check up, and positive vision care habits can preserve one’s vision as well as productivity. The article is concluded with the pledge of the American Optometric Association to continue improving the public’s understanding of vision care-related issues and ergonomic practices in VDT use, and guide the policy makers in matters related to the regulation and use of VDTs.


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