Understanding Eye Discomfort in the Office

Eye Discomfort in the Office

Eye Discomfort in the OfficeWorking in an office can be visually demanding, especially now that most businesses rely on computers to perform different tasks. To promote maximum comfort, good lighting is necessary. It should be enough to let employees read printed and handwritten text clearly, but not too much that it causes glare and leads to eye discomfort.

Visual Environment

Property improvement sites, such as HGTV.com and Remodelista.com, and commercial lighting companies like C and J Lighting, Inc., noted that promoting a good visual environment can start with the right lighting fixture. It must provide enough light in the right direction without causing any shadow. It should also give contrast with everything in sight, not only the tasks your employees have in front of them.

Poor lighting conditions don’t only affect the eyes, but can also lead to body aches like a stiff neck and shoulder pain. The body adjusts – consciously and unconsciously – to make it easier to read, so you’ll likely hear complaints about eyestrain, irritation, blurred vision, and headache from employees after long-term exposure. The American Optometric Association (AOA) added that these could contribute to computer vision syndrome (CVS) or digital eyestrain.

Reducing Eye Discomfort

The monitor in itself produces light, so it doesn’t need additional lighting. What you should focus more on is achieving the correct lighting of its surroundings. Install overhead lighting and make sure that you can dim or filter it when necessary. Natural light can also cause glare depending on where it enters the office, so it’s not always best to combine both natural and artificial light. Desk and task lamps are okay, but should be away from monitors to avoid reflecting excessive light.

Lighting has a considerable effect in the office setting. If you don’t want your employees to suffer from ocular conditions, you have to make the light – whether natural or artificial – appropriate to their needs.


  1. Poor lighting is actually a serious problem because it makes uncorrected vision problems worse. If you’re wearing glasses to adjust your farsightedness or astigmatism problems, expect that you’ll need new lenses earlier than expected.

  2. What this article is saying is true. In my work station, I tend to tilt my head sideways so the light that enters my eyes don’t hurt as much. I sometimes get lower back and shoulder pains too!

  3. To be honest, I’d rather rely on natural light only if I’m not directly facing the window. The sun hurts at noon so I always close the blinds and use my desk lamp instead.

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