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Incidence and risk factors for symptoms from the eyes among professional computer users

Journal article
Authors A. Toomingas
Mats Hagberg
M. Heiden
H. Richter
K. E. Westergren
E. W. Tornqvist
Published in Work-a Journal of Prevention Assessment & Rehabilitation
Volume 41
Issue Supplement 1
Pages 3560-3562
ISSN 1051-9815
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 3560-3562
Language en
Keywords office work, eye strain, prospective study, working-conditions
Subject categories Health Sciences


Personal computers are used by a majority of the working population in their professions. Little is known about risk-factors for incident symptoms from the eyes among professional computer users. The aim was to study the incidence and risk-factors for symptoms from the eyes among professional computer users. This study is a part of a comprehensive prospective follow-up study of factors associated with the incidence of symptoms among professional computer users. 1531 computer users of different professions at 46 companies were invited, whereof 1283 answered a baseline questionnaire (498 men; 785 women) and 1246 at least one of 10 monthly follow-up questionnaires. The computer work-station and equipment were generally of a good standard. The majority used CRT displays. During the follow-up period 329 subjects reported eye symptoms. The overall incidence rate in the whole study group was 0.38 per person-year, 0.23 in the subgroup of subjects who were symptom free at baseline and 1.06 among subjects who reported eye symptoms at baseline. In the bivariate analyses significant associations were found with all explanatory variables, except BMI. The reduced multivariate model showed significant associations with extended computer work, visual discomfort (dose-response), eye symptoms at baseline (higher risk), sex (women=higher risk) and nicotine use. The incidence of eye problems among professional computer users is high and related to both individual and work-related factors.

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