Eye discomfort and work with visual display terminals

Scand J Work Environ Health. 1994 Feb;20(1):27-33. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.1432.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between eye discomfort symptoms and work with visual display terminals among routine office workers.

Methods: Three hundred and twenty-seven office workers and their work stations were investigated by means of questionnaires and worksite investigations. The data were subjected to multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results: The occurrence of eye discomfort increased as the extent of VDT work increased, as did the specific symptoms of sensitivity to light and smarting, gritting feeling, or redness. The use of spectacles during visual display terminal work, age, stomach stress reaction, distances between the eye and different visual task objects, as well as the vertical position of the terminal also influenced certain symptoms. Having (i) the terminal at about eye level during prolonged terminal work, (ii) using monofocal glasses during terminal work in situations with large distance variations to visual task objects, or (iii) being elderly with prolonged terminal work and reporting stomach stress all led to increased odds ratios for certain eye discomfort symptoms.

Conclusions: The use of a visual display terminal in routine office work is associated with an increased occurrence of certain eye discomfort symptoms. This association is affected also by the presence of certain other individual and ergonomic factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthenopia / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Computer Terminals*
  • Eyeglasses
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Work Schedule Tolerance