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Principles of examining patients who work with display screen equipment

You have a duty to carry out an eye examination or sight test when examining patients as part of their entitlement under the Regulations from the Health and Safety Executive. The Regulations also outline employers' responsibilities to provide their employees with ergonomically suitable workstations and working equipment.116 
Using a screen or computer can be visually demanding and may cause asthenopic symptoms that are not apparent when the patient carries out other work. Use of the computer does not cause eye problems. Visually related symptoms can also be due to ergonomic factors or poor maintenance of hardware.
When a patient who is an employee takes up their entitlement under the Regulations, perhaps as a result of visual problems when using a screen or computer, you should: 
  1. carry out a full eye examination to determine the cause 
  2. ask the patient to describe their workstation and its environment
  3. give appropriate advice, including ergonomic information, if appropriate
  4. provide them with a prescription or written statement, as appropriate
  5. maintain confidentiality of clinical information at all times. Only provide clinical information to an employer if it is relevant to the employee’s DSE work and only if you have obtained the patient’s consent. You must follow the guidance on obtaining consent. See section on Consent.
You may also provide a report to the employee and their employer (with the employee’s consent). This should: 
  1. clearly state whether or not the employee needs spectacles, specifically for their DSE work 
  2. include any prescription for a corrective appliance for DSE work
  3. recommend when the employee should be re-examined, under the terms of the Regulations.