September 15, 2017

Is Your Device Giving You the Blues?

Claims Management

Between computers, smart phones and televisions, people can’t look away from their digital screens, leading to concerns for potentially increasing health issues for today’s employees. Could this mean a rise in a new segment of workers’ comp claims?

While it is known that light, and blue light specifically, is not harmless, a recent Business Insider article quoted Dr. Rahul Khurana, clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Opthalmologists, who said “for now, there is no research showing that these devices expose us to enough light to cause any damage. Doctors do have explanations for why our eyes feel tired and stressed after looking at screens, but those explanations don’t necessarily include light at all.”

However, feelings are divided as to whether blue light causes significant eye damage.

Some doctors, like Dr. Adam Berger, a retina surgeon at the Center for Retina and Macular Disease, argue that it is necessary to take a stance of precaution and prevention, citing the observation that cumulative exposure to light increases the risk of macular degeneration, according to the article.

Blue light, which is also emitted from fluorescent and LED lights in homes and offices, makes up a third of visible light. Its wavelengths are shorter than any other color in the visible light spectrum, emitting higher energy levels than any other color your eyes can perceive. Some believe this combination can cause multiple issues with high exposure.

Studies continue to show the steady increase in hours that Americans spend looking at digital screens. Computer Vision Syndrome, blurred vision, stiff necks and shoulders and dry eyes are increasingly more common as up to 70 million workers are at risk, according to a 2016 New York Times article, which fuels questions of whether this could mean a new generation of workplace injuries, especially for younger workers.

Regardless of which side of the argument you take, click here for some ways to help mitigate digital eyestrain.