More people work on computers today than ever before. Staring at a flat screen for hours can cause eyestrain, headaches, dry eyes, burning, and blurred vision, known as computer vision syndrome (CVS). Computer glasses can protect you from CVS by enhancing your vision with or without a prescription. Computer glasses can also block harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays and reduce glare, both of which have been linked to cataracts.
For those who wear contact lenses or corrective glasses, one complication of spending long hours at the computer is that the average distance to a computer screen is further away than reading material, but closer than distance vision. Bifocals used for reading are not optimized for work at a computer, and while reading material is held in the lap, a computer screen lies dead ahead. This forces bifocal wearers to tilt the head up, which can create neck and shoulder strain. It may also cause one to lean in towards the screen to reduce the distance to the range the bifocals are designed to correct.
Due to the unique needs of computer users, many optometrists today offer specific tests for computer use to optimize computer vision. Glasses optimized for computer use can be polarized to reduce glare and filtered to block UV radiation. All of these factors result in computer glasses that are designed to make time on the computer more enjoyable and healthier for your eyes.
For those who do not have corrected vision, but experience symptoms of CVS, computer glasses can relieve CVS by magnifying the screen to lessen the strain on your eyes. Simple drug store reading glasses are intended for reading close material and may not be suitable. An optometrist that offers a computer vision test can tell you if you would benefit from correction in your computer glasses.
If you do not spend long enough hours at the computer screen to experience CVS, but want to protect your eyes from glare and harmful radiation, high quality non-prescription glasses with polarized lenses and UV blockage will serve as excellent computer glasses. You can have an optometrist make a pair for you, or you can choose to buy slightly-tinted, optically correct, polarized sunglasses with 100% UV blockage. High quality sunglasses are available in most sporting goods stores, normally kept in display cases.
If you’d like computer glasses that can double as sunglasses, consider photochromic lenses. These lenses lighten indoors, and darken outdoors. Polarized photochromic sunglasses can serve as flexible and convenient computer sunglasses. Photochromic lenses are also available in prescriptions.
Computer glasses should be defect free. If you hold the glasses at arm’s length and look through the lenses, they should not waver or distort what lies beyond them. Lenses are available in lightweight polycarbonate plastic, or for those with heavy prescriptions, in high-index plastic. See your optometrist for a computer test to ascertain the best prescription, and rid yourself of eye fatigue.