Think your computer monitor is straining your eyes? Could be. Or maybe you're just dissatisfied with your job. Indeed, one in three complaints of eye strain can be attributed to job stress, according to a report in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Francisco Mocci of the University of Sassari in Sassari, Italy, and his colleagues studied 212 bank workers, none of whom had any history of eye problems. All shared the same job duties and work environment. Participants were given three questionnaires to fill out concerning job stress, environmental working conditions and visual discomfort, such as blurred vision, itchiness, soreness or heaviness of the eyes. The team found that job stressincluding lack of social support, group conflict, low levels of self-esteem and work dissatisfactionstrongly predicted eye strain. Those employees who did feel supported, in contrast, were a third less likely to complain about their visual health. Thus, stimulating colleagues to support one another, the authors conclude, "could reduce the effect of work-related stressors."