The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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Cleanroom microscope users in electronics: Dry eye an occupational hazard?

In this study of 91 cleanroom workers - mostly female - 42% to 64% had eye symptoms.

The conclusion of this study is one that seems like common sense for any visually demanding job:

  • Good lighting

  • Adequate break times

The Effects of Lighting Problems on Eye Symptoms among Cleanroom Microscope Workers.

Lin KH et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Jan 1;16(1)

Abstract

The visual health of microscope workers is an important occupational health concern, and a previous study suggested an association between lighting problems (e.g., flashing light, insufficient lighting) and eye symptoms among cleanroom workers in the electronics industry. This study aimed to explore the association between eye symptoms and lighting problems, as well as light-related counteracting behaviors among microscope workers in the cleanroom environment. Ninety-one cleanroom workers aged 20 years or older were recruited from an electronics factory. The socio-demographic factors, work-related factors, eye symptoms, and lighting problems were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire. There were 92.3% female participants in this study. Among all participants, 41.8% and 63.7% had symptoms of dry eye and eye fatigue, respectively. The counteracting behaviors of needing to move closer (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 3.47, 95% CI = 1.11 to 10.88) was significantly associated with dry eye symptoms. Workers who were more experienced at the job (aOR = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.06) and had shorter break times (aOR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.91 to 0.98) were more likely to have eye fatigue. As a result of these findings, this study suggests that good lighting and adequate break times are crucial to improve the visual health of cleanroom microscope workers.