Glasses for Computer Vision Fatigue

With the drastic increase in computer use and hand-held technology devices, the demands on your visual system have never been greater. As a result, it is common to suffer from vision fatigue, eye dryness, eye twitching, and headaches. Often all that is needed to alleviate the discomfort is a pair of eyeglasses specifically prescribed for computer use. It's probably the one solution we get the most comments about, as in "I wish I would have gotten a pair sooner."

Why Computer Glasses?

Computer glasses differ from regular eyeglasses or reading glasses. Computer screens are usually positioned 20 to 26 inches from your eyes. This is considered the intermediate zone of vision — closer than driving (distance vision), but farther away than reading (near vision). Because these lenses are prescribed specifically for computer use, they are not suitable for driving or general purpose wear.

The simplest computer glasses have single vision lenses with a modified lens power prescribed to give the most comfortable vision at the user's computer screen. This lens power relaxes the amount of accommodation required to keep objects in focus at the distance of the computer screen and provides the largest field of view.

Another popular lens design is the occupational progressive lens — a no-line variable-focus lens that corrects near, intermediate, and some distance vision. It has a larger intermediate zone than regular progressive lenses for more comfortable vision at the computer. But this leaves less lens area for distance vision. So these lenses are not recommended for driving or other significant distance vision tasks.

Other lenses used for computer glasses include occupational bifocal and trifocal lenses. These lined multifocal lenses have larger zones for intermediate and near vision than regular bifocals and trifocals. The position of the intermediate and near zones can be customized for your particular computer vision needs.

Lens Coatings and Tints

For maximum viewing comfort, the lenses of your computer glasses should include anti-glare treatment, also known as anti-reflective (AR) coating. This enhancement eliminates reflections of light from the front and back surfaces of your lenses that can cause eye strain.

We may also recommend a light, contrast-enhancing tint be added to lenses for computer glasses. These tints help reduce glare caused by harsh overhead lighting found in many office environments.

Ready for Computer Glasses?

Resist the temptation to buy over-the-counter reading glasses for use as computer glasses. Because an accurate eyeglasses prescription is essential if you want to get the full benefits from computer glasses, it's best to purchase this eyewear from a knowledgeable eye care professional.

Prior to scheduling your eye exam, measure how far you like to sit from your computer. Measure from the bridge of your nose to the surface of your computer screen.

Bring this measurement with you to your exam so your eye doctor can use it to help determine the optimum lens power for your computer glasses.