Our Great Portland Street shop is in the centre of London’s creative area, with many hundreds of companies from the worlds of TV, film and music as well as advertising, marketing and design within a five-minute walk.
We’ve seen many such people in our practice with the same symptoms – aching eyes and headaches.
A typical working person spends 40 hours a week at work, and for creative types such as graphic designers, planners and strategists they often spend more time looking and working on a computer screen than they do at anything else. Even young, perfect-sighted people will find this amount of eyestrain difficult and it’s therefore no great surprise that people come in seeking help.
Other than suggest reducing working hours - which doesn’t generally go down too well - it’s possible that specific glasses for the computer will help.
We therefore feel it is our duty to inform the many industries in our nearby neighbourhood that there’s a government directive that any employee who spends more than an hour at a time using a computer can request an eye exam and the employer is obliged to pay for it. If glasses are required specifically for computer use, then the company is also obliged to pay towards them, usually set at a minimum of £55 but can go up to £250 if the company is generous.
Employers have a duty of care to their employees’ eyesight should they request an eye exam. The problem is that most employees don’t know their entitlements as the obligation on the company is only to provide an eye exam and glasses if requested, as opposed to offering it ahead of time.
This needs to be normalised in today’s market, particularly at a time that is so heavily influenced by everything digital. With cared-for eyes comes cared-for work and annual eye tests not only benefit the employee but also the employer.
Please feel free to pop in and ask any questions you may have.