There are many aspects of computers and the work environment in which they are used which may cause or contribute to the development of eye or vision difficulties. To obtain optimum visual comfort and work efficiency, all computer operators who could benefit from a visual correction should wear it. One way to help ensure this is to remove financial barriers to the employee for obtaining an eye examination and, when needed, treatment for eye and vision problems. This can often be accomplished by having an employer or third party sponsored program which provides eye care services for employees who work at computers.
As part of an eye care program for computer operators, it may be necessary to determine whether any treatment, usually in the form of eyeglasses, is specific to the computer task or whether the same glasses or treatment would be required for general vision needs. This may establish whether the employee is eligible to receive occupationally related eye care services under the program.
Whether a particular vision condition requires correction with eyeglasses or other treatment depends upon the clinical findings and the judgment of the examining doctor. However, the following criteria are recommended to help determine whether the care provided is computer related. These criteria are based upon the individual diagnosis and/or prescribed treatment. Since it is necessary for computer operators to have an eye and vision examination to determine whether these criteria are met, it is recommended that an examination be provided as part of the computer eye care program.
Glasses or other therapeutic eye care services may be considered to be computer related if:
Individuals with the following diagnosed conditions (with accompanying ICD-9 codes) often require occupationally related eyewear or other therapeutic services in order to comfortably and efficiently work at a computer.
Glasses for the correction of presbyopia are considered to be computer related if they are of a prescription power or lens or frame design which is different than that required for everyday visual needs. In general this includes:
Computer related glasses would not include:
Glasses for the correction of hyperopia (farsightedness) are considered to be computer related if:
Glasses for the full correction of myopia (nearsightedness) are generally not considered to be computer related.
Because of the visual demands of computer work, individuals with low amounts of astigmatism may require correction for computer tasks. Glasses are considered to be computer related if:
Glasses would generally not be considered computer related if:
Glasses, which are prescribed for the correction of a clinically significant near heterophoria causing computer related symptoms, are considered to be computer related.
Convergence Insufficiency (378.83)
A convergence insufficiency causing work related symptoms is considered to be computer related. Vision therapy would be the treatment of choice for clinically significant convergence insufficiency.
Disorders of Accommodation (367.5)
Treatment for disorders of accommodation causing work related symptoms are considered as computer related:
Dry Eye (375.15)
Treatment for dry eye should be considered as computer related if:
Other conditions or treatment options may also be considered computer related under specific circumstances. The above criteria are not intended to limit the range of eye care services provided to computer operators. They can, however, be helpful in establishing minimum criteria for the reimbursement of eye care services for computer operators.