Eye strain can become so severe that an employee can suffer permanent eye damage resulting in costly medical treatment.
As the world becomes more and more advanced technologically, there is one issue that becomes more prevalent: vision damage.
Problems with your eyes used to be something you were born with or something you expect to experience as you get older. But given the increasing number of screens many Americans use daily, vision problems can appear much sooner than expected.
Eye strain is a common problem for workers who spend much of their time using computers. Staring at a computer continuously can tire your eyes and cause very uncomfortable symptoms, including eye dryness, tears, stinging eyes, headaches, and nausea.
Eye Strain And Vision Damage Are More Common Than You Think
According to the Vision Council, around 59% of American adults are experiencing signs of digital vision strain, which are vision issues caused by the near-constant use of digital devices.
Some common vision damage people can experience include:
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
A concerning issue here is that not only are people using their personal devices like smartphones or tablets for long hours, but many American jobs put workers face-to-face with a screen for hours on end. Marketers, digital designers, programmers, or assistant managers are just a few of the modern jobs that require extensive use of computers or laptops, making people keep their eyes on these devices for hours daily. And when their shift ends and they go home, chances are high their leisure time will also revolve around these screens.
Can You Get Compensated?
Eye issues can become so severe that an employee can suffer permanent eye damage. This can result in the need for surgery, expensive lenses, other costly medical treatments, and time off work, resulting in lost wages. In addition, it may also lead to a decreased ability to use a computer or maybe even altogether.
Worker’s compensation benefits are available to Missouri workers when they are sick or injured as a direct result of their job. By this definition, it is possible to get compensated for vision damage if it occurred because of your work.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be digital damage. Physical injuries to your eyes that affect your eyesight are also eligible for compensation if they result from work activity.
To get compensated, you will have to inform your employer of your injury in writing. You have 30 days from the day of the injury or 30 days from when you get the diagnosis. Once you inform your employer, they can forward the contact information of the doctor who will be treating you.
Filing a Workers Comp Claim for Eye Strain
Before filing a workers’ compensation claim for eye strain, there are a few things you will want to consider:
- Can you prove that your eye strain claim is legitimate and that your vision is negatively affected as a result?
- Can you prove that these effects on your vision have a direct correlation with the nature of your job responsibilities or work environment?
- Can you show that your eye strain injury has reduced your ability to fulfill your job requirements?
- Does a thorough examination by a doctor prove the legitimacy of your claim?
Eye injuries are limiting and painful. If your job has caused you to develop serious eye strain, the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann can help. We can evaluate your claim and improve your chances of getting the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
It’s Not Always Easy
If there is no clear event that led to vision damage, meaning it is the result of long-term activity, then it may be more difficult to be compensated. The insurance company will likely want to look closely at your case to determine whether the issues with your vision are truly work-related. If they suspect it is not and get evidence to suggest it, your claim may be denied.
How to Reduce Eye Strain at Work
Take Breaks Often
Every 20 minutes or so, look away from your screen and focus on something else for at least 20 seconds. It could be something in the distance or a picture on your desk.
Adjust Your Screen Settings
Make sure your screen is positioned to look at it straight on and at a comfortable level for your eyes. The top of the screen should be at or below eye level.
Adjust Your Computer’s Brightness to That of the Surrounding
One major cause of eye strain is staring at a screen that’s too bright or too dark. Unfortunately, contrasting colors can also be hard on your eyes. To reduce eye fatigue, try using programs that adjust your screen’s color and brightness based on the time of day.
Adjust Your Sitting Position
If you’re sitting at a desk, make sure your chair is positioned so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. If you’re using a laptop, place it on a raised surface so the screen is at eye level.
Blinking helps keep your eyes lubricated and prevents them from getting too dry. So, if you are staring at your screen for long periods, make a conscious effort to blink more often.
Limit Your Screen Time
If you can, limit your screen time outside work. That means you should consider avoiding excessively checking your phone right before bed or watching TV immediately after getting home from work.
Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in St. Louis
Do not let your employer or their insurance company deny your benefits. When injured, you need answers and money quickly. You have bills to pay, a family to care for, and a job to return to. Our attorney, James M. Hoffmann, works with employees from a wide range of industries to pursue the right benefits or to appeal a denial of your injury claim.
The Missouri Workers’ Compensation system is not your friend. We can help you take the steps necessary to protect your rights and recover payment for lost wages, medical care for your injuries, or a settlement for permanent partial disability or permanent total disability should you not be able to return to work.