For your eyes only Part two

Last week’s article was on Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which is defined by the American Optometric Association as “”that complex of eye and vision problems related to near work which are experienced during or related to computer use””.

In simple terms, Computer Vision Syndrome is a set of

concerns which may be experienced by computer users caused by working in a short or near vision distance environment and a less than ergonomically correct computer workstation environment, according to the AOA and Cornell University studies.

This week’s article will focus on computer filters and LCD and how they can help or hinder.

How effective are computer filters in reducing glare?

Extremely. A 1996 Cornell University Study revealed that after using an anti-glare computer filter, the percentage of daily or weekly problems related to the following — lethargy/tiredness, tired eyes, trouble focusing eyes, itchy/water eyes and dry eyes — was half of what it was before using a anti-glare filter. In addition, 80 percent of users reported the filters made it easier to read their screens, and more than half said the filters helped their productivity.

Solutions that are easy on your eyes

3M has developed high-quality computer filters, Models EF and HF, that comply with the stringent requirements of ISO 9241-7 Ergonomics Standard for Electronic Displays with Reflections. 3M Models EF and HF ensure that the anti-glare computer filter you buy is tested to the highest publicly accepted international standard for electronic displays by an independent testing agency — TÜV Rheinland Product Safety. 3M is the only computer filter manufacturer to-date that can prove the optical performance of their filters using the test methods of accepted international standards. In addition, 3M Models EF and HF can actually improve the performance of a monitor’s ISO 9241-7 classification and in some cases raise it to a better class. In addition, 3M high-quality computer filters are specifically designed to eliminate up to 99 per cent of display glare, greatly improve screen contrast, block up to 99.9 per cent of ELF/VLF E-field radiation and stop static charge and dust buildup. They’re also designed for different needs and environments. By testing to stringent international display standards and being awarded the American Optometric Association Seal of Acceptance, you are assured of their commitment to their customers to provide the best quality, highest performing products with the ability to back it up with independent testing to accepted international standards. For more information, visit their Web site:

What about LCDs?

LCDs, liquid crystal displays, are rapidly replacing the CRT. According to DisplaySearch, LCDs will surpass CRTs in 2004. While LCDs use different technology to create an image and have anti-glare treatments to reduce mirror reflections, there is a need to protect the fragile front surface of the LCD from scratches and dirt. And in bright lighting conditions, an LCD contrast filter will improve your display’s contrast while helping protect your investment.


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Grandjean, E., Ergonomics in Computerized Offices, Taylor and Francis, Ltd. 1987, 1998.

Hedge, A., Ph.D., “Effects of using an optical glass glare filter on computer worker’s visual health and performance: Results of an ergonomic field study”, Cornell Human Factors Laboratory, Cornell University, 1996.

Hedge, A., Ph.D., “Healthy office lighting for Computer Workers: A Comparison of lensed-indirect and direct systems”, Healthy Buildings, IAO 1991, ASHRAE 61-66 (1991).

Konz, Stephan, “Vision at the workplace: Part II — Knowledge base for the guide”, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 10 (1992) 145-160. Elsevier Science Publishers.

“Eye Health and Safety for Computer Monitor Users”, Health and Safety Guidelines for Computer Use at MIT. MIT, February, 1996.

Schliefer, Lawerence M., and Sauter, Steven L., “Controlling Glare Problems in the VDT Work Environment”, Library Hi-tech 3(4) 21-25, 1985.

Bickford, E. Lawrence, O.D., “Computers and Eyestrain”, Westnet, January, 1996.

Sharon Middendorf is a senior technical marketing and human factors engineer at 3M. Sources for more information on Computer Vision Syndrome and office ergonomics:


The American Optometric Association:

Corporate Vision Consulting:



Cornell University:

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