Computer Reading Glasses

If you are over 40 and you use a computer, chances are you would benefit from computer reading glasses. Conventional reading glasses just don't help you with computer work.

Why do you need vision correction just for using the computer?

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Computer reading glasses offer vision correction for presbyopia, or changes in near vision that occur in mid-life, at the distance of a typical computer screen.

Ordinary bifocals offer correction for distant vision, for example, for seeing objects across the room or down the street, and for near vision, seeing objects closer than 18 inches (45 cm) from the eyes.

They don't offer corrected vision for viewing a computer screen, which is typically a little more than arm's length, or about 20 to 26 inches (50 to 68 cm) from the eyes.

This intermediate zone of vision correction is taken care of if you wear trifocals, but trifocals are not suitable for computer work.

That's because the segment of the lens that corrects focus for objects 20 to 26 inches away is just too small for the wearer to see the entire computer monitor. Progressive lenses also provide vision correction in the intermediate zone, but their field of correction is even smaller than for trifocals.

Bifocals, trifocals, and corrective lenses just don't take the place of computer reading glasses.

Who needs this kind of vision correction? How can you tell if you need computer reading glasses? Without appropriate vision correction, computer users often develop a condition termed computer vision syndrome.

It's a combination of blurred vision, headaches, and eyestrain while working at the computer.

If the computer user compensates for poor vision correction by leaning forward or staring at the computer through a tiny sliver of their trifocals or progressive lenses, the symptoms are sore neck, sore back, and even aggravation of carpal tunnel syndrome.

The right lens prescription can tremendously increase office productivity. Having the right lenses in your glasses for computer work can make a tremendous difference in how productive you are at the computer.

A study conducted at the University of Alabama School of Optometry and published in the journal Optometry reported that computer operators given a clerical task were 9 per cent faster and 38 per cent more accurate when they were given computer glasses with the right lens prescription for intermediate distance.

Even when wearing the wrong glasses did not cause blurry vision, headaches, backaches, neck pain, or eyestrain, the research team reported, wearing glasses with the right strength correction made a measurable difference in productivity.

Dr. Kent Daum, the lead researcher for the team, told interviewers that a person working at a computer and earning $60,000 a year might be able to justify a $5,400 increase in salary just by wearing glasses with lenses that correct for intermediate vision.

What are your options for computer reading glasses? The simplest and least expensive way to correct intermediate vision for using the computer is to buy a pair of glasses with single vision lenses just for use at the computer.

Single vision lenses are less expensive and don't require an adjustment period. The only real downside is that they are strictly for viewing the computer. If you need to see across the room, or if you need to read something closer to your eyes than the computer screen, then you may have to put on another pair of glasses.

Occupational progressive lenses. Another way to get computer reading correction is to get an occupational progressive lens.

These are glasses with a vertical area of vision running top to bottom down the lens, with correction for distant vision on top and correction for near vision at the bottom. In the middle, however, there is an unusually large zone of vision correction specifically designed for computer use.

If you wear these lenses, you don't have to take off your glasses to see something in the distance or to wear up close. You probably cannot, however, use the glasses comfortably for any activity other than computer work.

Occupational bifocals. A third option is an occupational bifocal. This kind of lens has correction for intermediate distances, that is, the distance from your eyes to a computer monitor or laptop screen, at the top of the lens.

It has correction for reading in the bottom of the lens. These glasses will give you clear vision while you are seated at your desk, but you could not use them for driving.

Whichever kind of lenses you choose for your computer reading glasses, you will probably want relief from bright office lighting.

An anti-glare (AR) coating reduces the amount of blue light shining from office light fixtures and helps relieve eyestrain. An ultra-violet (UV) protective coating will also help with office lighting glare.


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