If you spend a lot of time staring at digital screens, including computer screens, tablet computers, iPads, e-Readers, and smartphones, your eyes may be paying the price. Fortunately, though, you don't have to live with vision problems associated with frequent computer use. But since there is no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to computer glasses, to get the most out of these special lenses, your eye care specialist will prescribe glasses based on your symptoms and computer vision needs.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome is a condition characterized by eye fatigue and eye strain that comes from focusing on computer screens for long periods of time.
Signs that you may need to wear computer glasses include:
Tired and irritated eyes
Benefits of Computer Glasses
Wearing computer glasses can help you in several different ways. The lenses are designed to
Reduce glare. Anti-reflective coating on the lenses of computer glasses reduces glare from the screen and filters out light that causes eye strain.
Provide clearer vision. By wearing computer glasses, your eyes won't have to constantly refocus as you view the screen.
Enhance contrast. Color tinting on lenses reduces glare and improves contrast.
Improve focus. Specially-designed computer glasses allow you to look at the screen over an extended period of time.
Besides the vision benefits, computer glasses can reduce shoulder pain and neck and back strain since you won't have to lean or hunch closer to the computer screen so that you can see better.
Different Computer Lenses Available
Like regular eyeglasses, computer glasses are available with different lenses depending on your vision problems, especially when you do computer work. Your eye doctor will consider your vision acuity, the type of work you do on the computer, lighting, and the distance between your eyes and the screen.
Single Vision Computer Glasses
No matter what your age, single vision computer glasses can reduce the risk of blurred vision, eye strain, and other symptoms related to computer vision syndrome. Whether you find it difficult to keep your eyes focused on the screen or have trouble changing the focus of your eyes back and forth from the keyboard to the screen, customized computer glasses can give you better vision when at your computer. The special-purpose lenses provide a larger field of vision and keep objects on the computer screen in focus.
Bifocal and Trifocal Computer Glasses
Depending on how much time you spend looking at computer and other digital screens, an eye care specialist can customize computer glasses with bifocal and trifocal lenses to improve your intermediate and near vision when working on a computer. Intermediate vision describes your zone of vision–or how well you can see–at about arm's length.
Since regular bifocals only correct near and far vision, you may need computer eyeglasses to view a computer screen, which is usually positioned within the intermediate zone of vision, for extended periods of time.
While conventional multifocal lenses, such as trifocals, may have lens power to improve near, intermediate, and distance vision, their intermediate zone of vision usually isn't large enough to allow you to work comfortably on a computer. However, lined multifocal lenses designed for computer use have larger near and intermediate vision zones than regular bifocal and trifocal lenses.
No-line multifocal (progressive) computer lenses also have larger near and intermediate zones but aren't recommended for tasks–particularly driving– that require distance vision. The larger intermediate zone takes up more area, leaving less for distance vision.