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PROPER LIGHTING MAY CUT EYESTRAIN, OTHER ILLS TIED TO VDTS, PROFESSOR SAYS

SHARE PROPER LIGHTING MAY CUT EYESTRAIN, OTHER ILLS TIED TO VDTS, PROFESSOR SAYS

Eye-strain, blurred vision, headaches and other problems associated with video display terminals can be eliminated in most cases by changes in office lighting and the VDT screens, an optometry professor said Friday.

"People perform much better when they look at screens with dark characters on a white background instead of having white characters on a dark background," said James Sheedy, associate professor of the University of California School of Optometry and director of the VDT Eye Clinic.Sheedy, who addressed the the 67th annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry, said the change must be considered in the design of future VDTs.

Improved design of the terminals and work-stations would help solve the growing problem of headaches, eye fatigue and other maladies associated with "VDT syndrome," he said.

Other recommendations included an in-depth analysis of the visual abilities of individual workers and special designs for eyeglasses.

"Lighting in offices is often inappropriate for VDT users and causes glare, because they are looking straight ahead in the room instead of up and down at their desks," Sheedy said.

Lighting levels should be reduced, and lighting designs should be changed to provide indirect lighting.

People who wear bi-focal glasses have special problems when looking at computer screens and are highly susceptible to eyestrain and back and neck strain, Sheedy told the 2,000 optometrists attending the convention.

"They need to be fitted with special glasses to meet the unusual viewing distance and the angles of VDTs. The glasses for them and others with special viewing problems have to be designed on the basis of the visual abilities of the individuals," he said.