The Proximity-Fixation-Disparity Curve and the Preferred Viewing Distance at a Visual Display as an Indicator of Near Vision Fatigue

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Abstract

Purpose.

This laboratory study investigates the relation between measures of fixation disparity (FD) (and other optometric measures) and near vision fatigue at a computer workstation.

Methods.

Young adult subjects with normal binocular vision performed three blocks of a visual task of 30 min each. In Block A, the viewing distance was 100 cm, as a reference without near vision. In Block B, the viewing distance of 50 cm induced a defined near vision load. In Block C, subjects were free to choose a comfortable viewing distance. This preferred viewing distance was used as an indicator of near vision fatigue because subjects adopting longer viewing distances in Block C had more near vision fatigue at 50 cm in Block B.

Results.

Subjects with preferred viewing distances longer than average (63 cm) had steeper slopes of FD as a function of viewing distance (100–30 cm), as shown by discriminant analyses.

Conclusions.

Thus, this steep proximity-FD curve indicates a weak disparity vergence system that may cause near vision fatigue. This may explain why some young adults prefer longer viewing distances at the computer workstation.

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