Eye strain may be all in the mind

Complaints about eye strain from people who work at computers may be indirect expressions of job dissatisfaction and psychological problems, a study has found.

Australian Doctor magazine reported that researchers who studied 212 bank workers who sit at computers found 32 per cent of them had eye problems during or soon after a shift, three or more times a week. Those with eye strain were more likely to have less social support, more group conflict, lower self-esteem and work satisfaction and less use of their skills than workers without eye strain.

"Some part of the complaints about visual health reported by VDT workers are likely to be indirect expressions of psychological discomfort related to working conditions," the researchers said. Their findings were released in the publication Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2001.

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