Changes to vision are natural with aging and exposure to certain visual environments. It’s important to have periodic eye exams, as well as review work being performed to ensure its visual requirements are in line with the visual health of the individual.

Presbyopia is a condition, caused by changes in the eye’s lens, in which the eye is no longer able to accommodate focus at near, intermediate, and far distances. There are various lenses that correct presbyopia, including single lenses, bifocals, and trifocals. Progressives are similar to bifocals and trifocals, except the regions of the lens are not distinct; instead the changing power of the lens is progressive, or blended, with distance vision power (i.e. up to 3 meters of distance for indoor use) at the top and near vision power at the bottom (i.e. up to 1 meter distance for indoor use).

Progressive Lenses and Working Comfortably

For computer users, using corrective lenses may require ergonomic adjustments to chair, computer monitor, and document set up and layout. Without that, the worker may feel discomfort when sitting awkwardly or tilting the neck to read documents and view the monitor. Pain could be felt in the neck and shoulders, back, or even lead to visual discomfort.

To assist any of your staff who may need progressive lenses or bifocals, EWI recommends a multi-pronged approach, based on extensive research, that must be applied to the design of a workstation and tasks. The two key steps are:

    1. Conduct a task analysis to determine the visual, environmental, and work requirements (e.g. lighting, furniture arrangement, and equipment being used).
    2. Have employees go for eye examinations to determine their visual health and capabilities. In addition, employees should also get their musculoskeletal health evaluated (e.g. neck, back, shoulder).

Based on the results of these, the appropriate lens should be selected by an optometrist to ensure visual discomfort and performance are not affected.

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