Since 1993 EC legislation has placed responsibilities on employers whose employees regularly use VDUs as part of their work. These regulations are also designed to protect users who may work for an employer from home, or any other location that is not the employer’s main office. If you are classified as a user, your employer must:
- Provide a full eye examination, free of charge to you, when you commence VDU work and at regular intervals thereafter.
- Pay for a pair of basic spectacles, if it is shown that you require these specifically for VDU use, or an equivalent amount of money towards a pair of your choice.
- Provide adequate breaks or changes of activity to reduce general visual fatigue;
- Provide health and safety training relating to the work station. Keep you informed about the regulations, particularly those relating to eyesight, rest breaks and guidance on work station minimum requirements.
Only a small proportion of users will need spectacles specifically for working at a VDU and the majority of these will be what is known as presbyopic. Presbyopia affects us all as we get older. Around the age of 40, people begin to find they lose the ability to focus on objects that are close up. Spectacles with single vision, bifocal or varifocal lenses, can all be used successfully for VDU work.
Contact lenses are also suitable, but wearers should try to blink regularly which keeps the lenses comfortable. When you concentrate on the screen for long periods, your normal blinking rate slows down. Presbyopic contact lens wearers may need additional reading spectacles.
Anti-Reflection lenses are well worth considering for VDU users. As they eliminate almost all reflections, VDU glare is considerably reduced, providing clearer and sharper vision.