News | January 26, 1999

New uvex PCvision eyewear reduces Computer-Vision Syndrome

Uvex Safety, A Division of Bacou USA Safety, Inc. identified as new occupational strain disorder

Enhanced Visual Amplification (EVA) lens technology filters light frequencies to make extended computer use more comfortable

Smithfield, RI, January 26, 1999 – <%=company%> today introduced uvex PCvision, a new type of eyewear that reduces the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), an increasingly common condition caused by prolonged work with computer monitors.

The uvex PCvision eyewear family incorporates Enhanced Visual Amplification lens technology, a special optical filtering system that promotes effective synchronization between the eye's focusing and information gathering system. Developed in conjunction with Dr. Herbert Wertheim, a leading visual research scientist, optometrist and founder of Brain Power Inc, EVA lens filters can improve visual comprehension and reading speed of information on computer screens by reducing eyestrain and reading errors. The filters work by either slowing down or speeding up the visual system to allow the eye to focus more efficiently and help the gathered visual information to be transported and processed effectively by the brain. When the focusing and information visual systems are in synchronization, visual stress is minimized.

During computer use, the average person blinks approximately 4 times per minute, far less than the normal rate of 22 blinks per minute. This reduced blink rate causes eye moisture to evaporate, resulting in a "dry eye" condition attended by sensations such as itching, burning, blurring, heavy eyelids, fatigue and double vision. In addition, people with this dry eye condition often arch their forehead in an effort to see more clearly, thus inducing the additional discomforts of headache. EVA lenses allow easier focusing and encourage a more natural blink-rate that keeps the eye comfortably moist, thereby warding off these symptoms.

Recent studies conducted by the American Optometric Association and the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) estimate that nearly 90 percent of the 70 million US workers who use computers for more than three hours a day will experience some form of eyestrain and vision complaints. In one year alone, more than 12 million people had symptoms serious enough to consult their eye doctor. The Journal of Optometry underscored the bottom-line significance of this growing problem when it cited statistics showing that even minor visual problems can lower individual productivity by as much as eight percent.

"Many ergonomic experts see Computer Vision Syndrome emerging as the most serious repetitive strain disorder for the coming decade," says Anne Chambers, Uvex marketing manager for protective eyewear. "In fact, more workers now suffer PC related vision problems than repetitive wrist injuries. So as more people use computers at work and to conduct their personal business online from home, we expect to see this condition become much more frequent than even Carpal Tunnel Syndrome."

EVA technology had previously been available only as a special feature on prescription eyewear. With uvex PCvision, Uvex Safety now makes the benefits affordable through general-purpose eyewear for all computer users.

The uvex PCvision eyewear features a choice of EVA peach, sandlewood, and rose lens tints. The eyewear comes in three lightweight, comfortable and fashionable frame styles: the uvex networker, uvex webmaster, and uvex surfer. The uvex webmaster and uvex networker feature spring-hinged metal frames and saddle nose pads for optimal comfort and fit, while the uvex surfer is a wraparound design with the look and feel of contemporary sports eyewear.

All uvex PCvision eyewear lenses include a scratch resistant hardcoat that extends the useful life in busy work environments. The eyewear is designed exclusively to reduce computer and office-related eyestrain, fatigue, and discomfort; it is not designed to protect the eyes from impact, heat, chemical, dust, optical radiation, or laser hazards.

New uvex PCvision eyewear will soon be available in the retail market through office supply stores, and catalogs, industrial distributors, and on the Uvex web site. For more information fax a request to the company's fax line at 401-232-1830, write to Uvex Safety, 10 Thurber Blvd., Smithfield, RI 02917, or visit the uvex web site at http:// www.uvex.com.

Uvex Safety is a division of Bacou USA Safety, Inc. (NYSE-BAU).

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