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Filtering Office Lights
Eases Workers' Eyestrain

SAN DIEGO (Reuters Health) - Filtering fluorescent lights in offices to produce light similar to natural sunlight reduces workers' eyestrain, a California optometrist reported here Thursday at an American Optometric Association meeting.

Eyestrain, or asthenopia, is widespread among computer users, noted Dr. James LaMotte, an optometrist on faculty at the Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, citing information from the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

His research team evaluated the effect of filtered light on 49 data entry workers at California State University-Fullerton, who worked under traditional fluorescent light. They first asked the workers to answer questions about eyestrain, then replaced the traditional panels over the fluorescent tubes with acrylic panels tinted to give off a more natural light. After 2 weeks working under the filtered lights, the researchers surveyed the workers again.

After working under the filtered lights, the study participants reported a significant decease in eyestrain, eye fatigue, sensitivity to light, blur with computer use, and glare or reflections from the computer screen. There were no differences found between the two lighting methods in workers' reports of eye burning, itching or pain, nor headaches or energy levels.

Nearly 75% of the workers said they preferred the filtered light to the unfiltered. "We used a prismatic panel that is colored or dyed to absorb ultraviolet light and it changes it to a more natural light like sunlight," LaMotte explained. The filtering panels are available commercially, he added.

In addition to working under filtered light, computer users who want to reduce eyestrain may also consider reducing reflection off the computer screen by placing special deflecting shields over the monitor, LaMotte said.


Reference Source 89

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