Q: How do computer glasses differ from regular glasses?
Dr. Gustafson: Computer glasses are set to help a patient see best at their computer working distance, which is typically about arm’s length. This is different from regular glasses that are set to help patients see in the distance as when driving or watching television.
Q: What are the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome, will computer glasses prevent them?
Dr. Gustafson: Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is also known as digital eye strain. The symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck or shoulder pain. Typically these symptoms are temporary and will resolve when computer use is discontinued for the day.
Computer glasses can help alleviate the symptoms of digital eye strain. During your eye examination, the optometrist will test your vision and customize your prescription for your computer working distance.
One thing all computer users can do is follow the 20-20-20 Rule. This means every 20 minutes take a 20 second break from the computer screen and look 20 feet away. This allows your focusing system to relax and can help ease digital eye strain.
Q: Can I wear my computer glasses when I am not on the computer?
Dr. Gustafson: Computer glasses are customized for your working distance at the computer so they should not be used for driving or distance viewing. For some patients, their computer glasses will help them with reading books and magazines as well.
Q: Should I get computer glasses with an anti-reflective coating or a blue light filter coating?
A: Yes – they are both great options.
The anti-reflective coating reduces reflections and glare from overhead lights and the computer screen.
The blue light filter also reduces glare and reflections. Additionally, it absorbs some of the blue light emitted from computer screens and digital devices. It is not known if blue light has negative effects on eye health, however many of my patients have reported that the blue light filter helped reduce their eye strain on the computer.
Q: Is there a specific brand of computer glasses that is better?
Dr. Gustafson: It isn’t brand-specific. The best computer glasses will have a patient’s custom prescription, fit their face comfortably, and align properly with the center of their eyes.
Q: I have perfect vision, do I need computer glasses?
A: You might benefit from computer glasses even if your distance vision is excellent without glasses or contact lenses. No matter what your prescription is, computer use can be tiring for your eyes. During your exam, your prescription and eye alignment will be measured to ensure the optimal prescription for visual performance that minimizes eyestrain on the computer.