Visual discomfort and astigmatic refractive errors in VDT use

J Am Optom Assoc. 1991 Sep;62(9):680-4.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of small amounts of uncorrected astigmatism on the visual comfort of video display terminal (VDT) users. We hypothesized that these small errors produce visual discomfort in the use of these devices even though visual acuity is relatively unaffected. Eight subjects (ages 23-35 years) with corrected visual acuities of 20/20 participated. Our double-masked cross-over experiment included two 25-minute periods during which the subject read from a VDT. The subjects were randomly assigned to wear either the test lens pair (+0.50 D x 090) or a control lens pair (+0.12 DS) over their best correction during the first period and the alternative pair during the second period. A questionnaire was used to obtain ratings of visual discomfort. Our analysis of the data indicated greater reported eyestrain for the test lens pair (Wilcoxon signed-rank test, p = 0.01). These results suggest careful consideration be given to the correction of small amounts of astigmatic errors for VDT users.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Astigmatism / complications*
  • Computer Terminals*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Visual Acuity