It is common to experience eye strain after long hours of work in front of a computer. Eye strain is only one of many symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) which includes red eyes, blurred vision, and tired eyes. This is caused by the increased visual demands of computer work compared to normal activities away from the screen.
For people under 40, eye strain accompanied by blurred vision may primarily be caused by the inability of the eyes to remain accurately focused on the screen. This is because your eyes are required to switch repeatedly from your screen to your keyboard for a long period of hours.
These focusing or eye accommodation problems are often related to CVS.
However, for people over 40, this could be a sign of the early stages of presbyopia, an age-related loss of near focusing ability. This, too, can cause CVS symptoms.
What Should You Do?
For starters, a comprehensive eye exam is best to rule out vision problems and improve your eyeglasses prescription. Keep in mind that even the slightest inaccuracies in your prescription lenses can add up to symptoms of computer vision problems.
If your prescription glasses are already updated or you have no need to wear eyeglasses at all but eye discomfort during computer work persists, then you might have to consider purchasing customized blue light computer glasses. These are intricately made to provide relief from eye strain and give you a comfortable vision while doing computer work.
Why computer glasses?
Computer glasses are specially designed to surpass the normal benefits of regular glasses or reading glasses. Computer screens are normally at a distance 20 to 26 inches from the user’s eyes. This is deemed the intermediate zone of vision which means it is closer than “driving distance” vision but farther away than “reading vision”.
Regular prescription glasses only provide fixes for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism problems. Bifocals for presbyopic patients only provide clear distance and near vision but the intermediate vision for computer and smartphone use remains a problem. Progressive lenses or trifocals, though offer some help for intermediate vision, but often lack sufficient intermediate zone for comfortable computer work.
Are Computer Glasses Really Effective?
To prevent further damage to our eyes, computer glasses offer shield-like protection that reduces glare and filters from the blue light emitted by digital screens and artificial lights. Without computer glasses, many regular computer users often have to deal with blurred vision, eye strain, and headaches — the most common symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
What’s worse is that many people tend to compensate for their blurred vision by leaning closer to the screen or by tipping their head to see through the bottom portion of their glasses. Both of these can result in a sore neck, shoulders, and back.
Computer glasses offer up to 60% magnifying power of reading glasses. However, the optimal magnification varies on your preferred distance from your computer screen and how close you usually hold your smartphone. Computer glasses are also designed to accurately correct any astigmatism you might have.
This requires precise measurements to ensure that the optical center of each lens is right in front of your pupils as you are working on your preferred distance. This means that to achieve the maximum comfort from your computer glasses, they must be customized to your individual needs.
Lens Coatings and Tints
For maximum viewing comfort, your computer glasses must be equipped with anti-reflective coated lenses. They are also known as an anti-glare coating that eliminates light reflections from the front and back surfaces of your lenses that can cause eye strain.
Photochromic lenses can also shield your eyes from the potential harm of the high-energy visible blue light emitted by your computer screen and other digital devices. Another great thing about these lenses is the automatic transition to darken in highly lit places to protect your eyes.
Your eye doctor may also suggest adding a light tint to the lenses of your computer glasses to reduce glares caused by harsh overhead lighting and also to enhance contrast.
SEE RELATED: Can Blue Light Damage Your Eyes?
Where to Buy the Best Computer Glasses
It could be tempting to buy over-the-counter reading glasses to use as computer screen glasses, but you must resist at all costs. This is because an inaccurate eyeglasses prescription is detrimental to your vision plus, you would not have the full benefits from computer glasses.
It is best to purchase computer glasses only from your trusted eyewear brand and trusted eye care professional. Prior to your eye exam, measure your preferred distance when working on your computer. Measure the distance from the bridge of your nose to the surface of your computer screen while sitting on your most comfortable position and distance.
Relay this measurement to your eye doctor to help determine the optimum lens power and the right fit for your computer glasses. Do not forget to read the computer ergonomics tips to help you arrange your optimal computer workstation for maximum comfort.
For more details about the best anti-reflective coating and tints for your computer glasses, consult your eye doctor.