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July 3, 1987

Blink Yes; Crane No: More on Video Display Terminals

JAMA. 1987;258(1):45-46. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400010049022

To the Editor.—  It was refreshing to see the fresh approach taken in the COUNCIL REPORT1 to video display terminals (VDTs) and the emphasis on ergonomics.Over the years, there has never been any evidence that would even hint of any adverse effects of VDTs on the visual system. However, it is not unusual to hear complaints from patients concerning their eyes and associated discomfort.My experience as an ophthalmologist indicates two prime reasons for ocular fatigue that might be associated with VDT use. The main factor appears to be lack of blinking. While scrolling on a VDT, the user has a tendency to stare and decrease blinking to avoid missing anything on the screen. As with contact lens wearers, it is necessary to remind VDT users to blink sufficiently often to lubricate the cornea. This simple act will decrease ocular fatigue significantly.Ergonomics come into play with the