Here is what you need to know before you purchase computer glasses. This guide will answer the most frequently asked questions our team at Vint & York get about these types of eyeglasses.
Why Do I Need Computer Glasses?
We are more connected to our digital devices than ever before. They have impacted our world in so many positive ways by allowing us to connect, work, play, and get information in an instant. Our lives have become very dependent on the use of computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Computer glasses are a strong ally to help with digital eye strain and reduce your exposure to blue light that can occur when spending hours in front of a screen. They are designed to wear when doing computer work and to allow you to properly focus your eyes on a computer screen and avoid these problems.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a group of symptoms caused by prolonged viewing of digital devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones. These can include eye strain, tired eyes, blurred vision, shoulder or neck pain, and headaches. Computer glasses with the correct prescription, blue light protection, and anti-reflective coatings can improve your focus, efficiency, and comfort while working at the computer or other digital devices.
What Are Computer Glasses?
Computer glasses differ from regular glasses in that they are specifically designed to be worn when working in front of a computer. The average computer viewing distance is 20-30 inches, while the average reading distance is 14-18 inches. This means that computer glasses are designed for intermediate vision rather than glasses for reading a book which are designed for a closer distance.
Computer glasses also encompass special coatings to block blue light, reduce glare, increase contrast, and maximize the viewing area. This is all meant to reduce eye strain and make it easier to look at a screen for longer periods of time.
What Strength Computer Glasses Do I Need?
The right strength for computer glasses depends on how far you prefer to sit from your computer screen. In general, computer glasses have about 60-75% of the power of reading glasses. This is because computer screens are viewed farther away than general close-up reading. Your eye doctor can write a prescription for computer glasses. If you use over-the-counter readers, choose a strength about 2/3 of the power of your readers. For example, if you use +2.50 readers, try +1.75 strength for computer glasses.
The strength will also depend on other factors such as:
- Type of device used (desktop or laptop)
- Size of the screen (need less strength for larger screens)
- Size of person (taller people tend to sit farther away from their computer)
- Whether or not you already use prescription glasses (this will affect the prescription for computer glasses)
- Age (older people tend to need a stronger prescription)
Types of Lenses & Coatings for Computer Use (With or Without Prescription)
Anyone can benefit from computer glasses regardless of age, hours spent on digital devices, type of device used, or vision problems.
Let’s find out more about each option:
Single Vision Computer Glasses
Single vision computer glasses have the same power throughout the entire lens. This provides the optimum lens power and field of view for your computer screen without straining, leaning in, or tilting your head. This reduces the risk of blurred vision, eye strain, and bad posture. Single vision lenses are also the least expensive option.
Progressive Computer Glasses
Progressive lenses start on the top of the lens with one prescription and then gradually progress to correct closer distances as your eyes move down through the lens. Traditional progressives have the distance prescription on top, then progress down to the intermediate zone, and end up at the bottom with the reading prescription. The transition between prescriptions is smooth and natural because there are no obvious lines between prescriptions like in conventional bifocals and trifocals.
Although traditional progressives often work well at the computer, progressives can be specially designed if you do prolonged computer work. In progressive computer lenses, the intermediate prescription for the computer is on the top and the reading prescription is on the bottom. Progressive computer glasses have a larger and more comfortable intermediate vision area than regular progressives. This provides a wider view of your computer screen and a comfortable viewing posture for your eyes, neck, and head.
Bifocal and Trifocal Computer Glasses
Traditional bifocal or trifocal glasses have distance viewing on the top and reading viewing on the bottom of the lens. These views are separated by a visible line in the lens. Computer bifocal glasses have the intermediate computer prescription on the top and the reading prescription on the bottom of the lens. This provides a larger zone for viewing the computer without needing to tilt your head back. For this type of computer glasses, the position of the intermediate and near vision zones can be customized to your specific computer needs.
Anti-Reflective (AR) Lens Coating
Anti-reflective coatings reduce glare and excess reflections from your computer screen. This allows your eyes to be more relaxed and able to focus for a longer time, with less strain and fatigue.
You can choose any pair of Vint & York glasses you like, and the anti-reflective coating is included without additional costs.
Blue Light Protection
Blue light is also known as HEV light (high energy visible light) or UV light (ultraviolet light). Prolonged exposure to blue light can lead to many problems including eye strain, headaches, computer vision syndrome, and excessive alertness leading to sleep problems. A blue light protective coating on your computer glasses will filter out the harmful blue light rays that are commonly emitted from digital screens.
Yellow Tint - Is It Necessary?
At one time, yellow-tinted glasses were the best option to block blue light from entering the eyes and increase contrast. With the advent of blue blocking and anti-reflective technology and coatings, it’s not necessary to include this option.
Non-Prescription Computer Glasses
Non-prescription computer glasses can be used by anyone who wants more comfortable vision at the computer. The lenses will not have any power but can incorporate coatings and tints to enhance computer viewing. They work as a shield against overexposure to blue light, eliminate excess glare and reflections, and reduce symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
Computer Glasses vs Reading Glasses – What’s the Difference?
While on the surface reading glasses and computer glasses appear similar, their specific purposes are different. Most people need a different level of correction for close-up reading than for using a computer, which is usually set at a farther distance. The average reading range is 14 to 18 inches and the average computer viewing range is 20 to 30 inches.
Around age 40, near vision tends to deteriorate and reading becomes more difficult. This is due to the loss of elasticity of the internal lens of the eye and is called presbyopia. This is when reading glasses come in handy. But as presbyopia continues to progress, the same prescription might not work for close-up reading and for the computer screen which tends to be farther away. This is when computer glasses are needed.
So don’t be surprised if you need different prescriptions for different visual tasks. You can use two different pairs of glasses for reading and the computer or both prescriptions can be combined into one pair of progressive or bifocal glasses. Blue light protection and anti-reflective coatings can be applied to any type of reading and computer glasses.
Prescription for Computer Glasses
It’s always a good idea to have your eyes examined before getting a new pair of glasses. Tell your eye doctor that you would like a prescription for computer glasses. Measure the distance from your eyes to your computer screen as this will help calculate the most accurate prescription for your computer glasses. If you want just magnifying computer glasses, order approximately 2/3 the strength of your readers (see section above “What Strength Computer Glasses Do I Need?). Either way, you can order your lenses with added features for computer use.
Are Computer Glasses Covered by Insurance?
Every insurance policy is different, and the best approach is to check with your insurance plan provider. In many cases, vision insurance covers some or all the cost for computer glasses, as well as an eye exam.
Benefits of Glasses for Computer Users
- Designed to work specifically for the intermediate computer distance
- Adding AR coating reduces unwanted, annoying reflections and glare
- Adding blue light protection reduces blue light exposure from digital devices that can cause eye strain and sleep problems
- Help prevent Computer Vision Syndrome that can occur after spending too much time in front of computer screens
- Can help enhance your focus so that you can be more productive with eyes that feel less tired
Pick Your Favorite Type of Frames from Vint & York
Want a pair of designer Rx computer glasses to shield your eyes from blue light? We have high quality lenses available in light and thin high index lens materials with blue light blocking protection and AR coating. We created a beautiful range of frames that accommodate all face widths so no matter your needs and style, we can provide you with the right frame.
Check out our virtual glasses try-on tool, an easy-to-use, intuitive way to visualize our frames and see which ones will work best for your face shape. Discover our optical collection and complete your purchase with prescription lenses that fit your lifestyle and needs.