Computer Eye Strain Glasses – Everything You Should Know About This Great Way to Reduce Digital Eye Strain
If you look around you, you will notice that most of us are spending a lot of time looking at our screens, whether it’s on a computer in your office at work, during lunch break while browsing on your smartphone or when you’re relaxing by reading an e-book or watching television.
We live in a technological world where our lives have become dependent on the use of electronic devices and we’re paying the price for this in various ways.
In the last couple of years, eye and vision problems caused by the excessive looking at screens of electronic devices have become one of the main health concerns in the world.
I think that there is probably not a single person who hasn’t experience eye fatigue, headache, dry and irritated eyes after long computer use.
Unfortunately, sometimes we are not able to change the amount of time we spend in front of our computer at work or factors that contribute to this condition. Many today’s jobs require computer use and it is not possible to change the time you spent on it.
Even if you decide to spend less time on electronic devices after your work, sometimes it is still not enough for your eyes to rest. Many of us use our free time looking at screen. I mean, you’re reading this text on a computer or smartphone screen, right?
Digital eye strain has become one of the main health concerns in today’s modern technological world. According to one recent survey, more than 65 percent of American adults have symptoms of digital eye strain. Although various studies claim that it cannot cause permanent eye and vision damage, there are some reports emerging that it may be harmful long term.
There are various ways to protect yourself from digital eye strain that are simple. However, I do think that computer eye strain glasses are one of the, if not the best option available. If you want to find out more about computer eye strain glasses, their benefits as well as what to consider when buying a pair, please read on.
What is digital eye strain?
Before I talk about computer eye strain glasses, I think you should know more about digital eye strain, its symptoms and causes. This way I think that you’re going to learn how to manage this problem much easier.
Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, are various eye and vision related problems and symptoms caused by the excessive looking at screen of electronic devices such as computers, laptops, tablets, e-readers etc.
Symptoms of computer eye strain include eye discomfort and fatigue, dry eyes, blurred or doubled vision, red irritated eyes, burning and itchy sensation, light sensitivity, headaches and pain in the shoulders, neck and back. Usually, not all of these symptoms are present, just some of them.
Digital eye strain is a temporary condition that goes aways as soon as you rest your eyes. However, there are some recent studies that associate digital eye strain with permanent eye and vision damage.
How does eye strain causes head, neck and back pain?
Why does digital eye strain symptoms include head, neck and back pain? Well, the explanation is actually pretty simple.
When you’re looking at a screen for longer periods of time, doing same eye motion over and over and refocusing, your eye muscles will lead to blurred vision and eye fatigue. This will make you to lean your head closer to your computer unconsciously, in order to have clearer vision.
This leaning and hunching over your computer will stress your head, neck and back muscles, change your posture and cause pain. These irregular posture can also cause more serious problems like back pain while running, higher risk for sports injuries, weakness of lower and upper body muscles etc.
Digital eye strain affects your productivity and accuracy at work
Do your eye fatigue and dry and irritated eyes bother you so much that you’re not as productive at work as you should have? You’re not the only one. According to various studies done by American Optometric Association (AOA), one of the most frequent health problems among computer workers are vision-related symptoms.
Anywhere between 50 to 90 percent of computer users suffer from some kind of vision-related problems.
Why does computer eye strain happen?
We all know that human body hasn’t evolved much since the beginning of our existence. That is also true for our vision. Our eyes are still not accommodated to looking at screens that are around 20 inches away from us for longer periods of time.
Here are the 5 reasons why computer eye strain happens:
1. Repetitive eye motion and constant refocusing during computer work are the main culprit behind the eye strain
Digital eye strain syndrome is similar to other repetitive motion injuries that can happen in other parts of your body. When you’re looking at the screen, your eyes follow the same path over and over and have to focus and refocus all the time. This frequent movement of eyes and refocusing causes our eye muscles to become tired, leading to eye fatigue and discomfort.
2. Low contrast, glare, reflection and flickering of screens make the eye strain even worse
Actually, any use of eyes and vision for longer periods of time can cause eye strain like reading a book, writing etc. However, looking at the screen of electronic devices makes things even worse by adding the contrast, flicker and glare. All these ‘’features’’ of screens actually make our eyes even more tired.
3. Dry, irritated and red eyes are the result of less eye blinking while looking at the screen
One more contributing factors is the fact that our eyes blink much less when looking at the screen, causing our eyes to get dry. This will also cause redness and irritation since they don’t have enough tears to wash aways all those small particles that come to our eyes.
4. Blue light is another important contributing factor of digital eye strain
You’ve probably heard about blue light and how it affects our sleeping and circadian rhythm, our body’s natural cycle of wake and sleep. Because blue light has the most energy out of all light rays emitted from screens, it scatter more easily than other visible light and it can’t be focused easily. It also decreases contrast and adds flickering and glare, causing our eyes to get tired after longer usage of electronic devices.
5. Our eyes are not accustomed for looking at the distance of a computer screen
Our eyes were never designed to look at an object that is at an arm length from our eyes like computer screens, smartphones, tablets etc. They naturally rest when we’re looking around 20 feet away. Computer screens, smartphones,tablets and other electronic devices are usually 18 to 24 inches away from us and that puts stress on our eyes and causes fatigue.
How to reduce digital eye strain?
There are various simple ways to reduce digital eye strain. One of the most simple is to follow the 20-20-20 rule. This rule means that you should look away from computer screen or any other device once every 20 minutes for 20 seconds at about 20 feet away.
This 20-20-20 rule helps your eye muscles relax and refocus, preventing eye strain caused by looking at computer screen for longer periods of time. I’m sure you’re going to notice a big difference if you start doing this periodic brakes from looking at digital screen. Even short brake makes a huge difference and help with this problem.
You should also pay attention to the way you sit in front of your computer screen. Irregular posture is both sign and contributing factor of digital eye strain. Eye, head, neck and back pain warn you that digital eye strain will occur.
Keep your distance from computer screen at around an arm’s length or 20 to 40 inches with top of monitor slightly below your eye-level. Moreover, the chair you’re sitting should support your spine and keep your body upright with feet rest flat.
Good ambient lighting is another way to reduce digital eye strain. Keep your overhead lighting dim. Your computer screen should actually be the brightest source of light in the room. You should also adapt screen’s brightness and contrast to your needs.
Why should you consider getting computer eye strain glasses?
Although there are various simple ways to prevent digital eye strain, sometimes it is not possible to correct or eliminate causes and bad habits. You’ve probably been many times in a situation where it is not possible to take a break from your work and you need to spend most of your time at the office looking at a computer screen. Sometimes you need to stay even longer than usual.
Even if you spend less the time looking at the screen and try to eliminate and correct all those contributing factors like distance from the computer screen, posture, ambient lighting, there is always a chance that you’re going to get back to your old, bad habits. This is where computer eye strain glasses can be helpful.
Actually, computer eye strain glasses can be some type of alarm for you and your bad habits. You will be more aware of time spent on looking at electronic displays, whether it’s at your work or during your free time. Computer glasses will also make you to take more care of your posture while doing computer work.
What are computer eye strain glasses?
Computer eye strain glasses are a special type of glasses made to reduce eye strain caused by the excessive looking at the screen. These type of glasses differ from regular eyeglasses in various ways in order to optimize your eyesight when looking at a computer screen or any other electronic device.
Why do computer glasses differ from other types of eyewear?
There are several reason why computer eye strain glasses are different from any other type of glasses. Firstly, computer screens are usually positioned 20 to 26 inches from your eyes.
This distance between you and your computer screen is also called the intermediate zone of vision that is closer than distance vision but farther from near vision. So, computer glasses can have special lenses that will enhance the intermediate vision.
Reading glasses are not recommended for computer use for several reasons. Eyeglasses prescribed for reading provide best vision possible at a distance of 14 to 16 inches from your eyes, the standard distance for reading.
Computer screens and other electronic devices should be positioned farther away from your eyes and therefore, you need glasses that will optimize your vision at distance of 20 to 24 inches from your eyes.
Although blue light emitted from the screens is usually associated with change of our natural cycle of wake and sleep, it also contributes to digital eye strain by increasing the glare from the screen you are looking at as well as decreasing the contrast.
Blue light is also responsible for flickering of the screen. That is why computer glasses should also have protection from glare and reflection as well as blue light rays.
Everybody should wear computer eye strain glasses, even those who don’t have problems with eyes and vision
There are many lucky people who don’t have problems when looking at screen for longer periods of time. However, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t consider getting these type of glasses. It is possible to experience symptoms of eye strain at some point of your life, especially when you get older.
According to one study, people who don’t have symptoms of digital eye strain are usually less productive and accurate when working on a computer. That is one of the reasons why you should wear computer eye strain glasses even if you’ve never experienced symptoms.
Another reasons why everybody should wear these type of glasses are the new studies that associate digital eye strain with permanent eye and vision damage. Although there is still not enough research to confirm this, it is better to prevent sooner rather than later.
What are the benefits of computer eye strain glasses?
The main benefit of computer eye strain glasses is the reduction of digital eye strain symptoms. This is achieved in various ways.
1. Computer glasses reduce eye fatigue by relaxing your eye muscles while looking a the computer screen
If you choose computer eye strain glasses with special lenses, the focusing power of this lenses will help you hold focus on your screen while minimizing eye muscle fatigue. This is done by making your eyes think that they’re viewing at a distance instead of intermediate zone so your eye don’t get tired so fast.
2. They can also block blue light rays emitted from screens and prevent side effects from blue light exposure
Computer strain blocking glasses that filter blue light usually have yellow, amber or orange tinted lenses. This lens tint will enhance the contrast and therefore making you define and recognize characters and shapes on your screen faster. Faster use of vision means less eye strain and eye muscle fatigue.
3. Glasses for computer eye strain will help you maintain proper posture and prevent head, neck and back pain
When you’re looking at the screen for longer periods of time, the eye strain also makes you hunch over your desk and computer screen, leading to head, neck and back pain. Using the computer eye strain glasses that will give you clear and comfortable vision at an arm length will reduce the need to hunch over and stress your neck and back.
4. Digital eye strain glasses will improve your productivity and accuracy at work
Digital eye strain symptoms also make you less productive and accurate because of all the symptoms that you have to deal with while doing your job. Some studies have shown that even slight vision problems while working on a computer will cause significant reduction of productivity and accuracy.
5. You will be more aware of time spent on looking at the screen and help you change your habits
One more benefit of computer eye strain glasses that is not associated with its features is that you will be more aware of the time you spend looking at your screen since you should only use them when you’re using electronic devices. This way you may decide to reduce usage of electronic devices and spend your free time on something else and not looking at your smartphone, tablet, television etc.
What to consider when buying computer eye strain glasses?
There are several things to consider when buying computer eye strain glasses but one of the most important is the lens type. There are several different lens types that have different purpose. However, the main goal of all these lens types is the same and that is to provide the most comfortable vision while looking at your screen.
Computer eye strain glasses with single vision lenses are the simplest computer glasses. They correct only one field of vision and have the same correction over the entire area of the lens. The lens power reduces the amount of accommodation required to keep objects in focus at the distance of your computer screen. They can be worn by computer users of any age.
Another type of lenses used for computer eye strain glasses are occupational progressive lenses. This type of lens has a section located at the top of the lens that is just used for viewing the screen. They allow clear vision at all distances but offer much larger intermediate zone for more comfortable vision at the computer screen.
Occupational progressive lenses leave less area on the lens that is for distance vision, so it is not recommended to use them while driving or to wear them regularly.
These are also occupational bifocal and trifocal lenses that correct near, intermediate and distance vision. They have larger zones for intermediate and near vision then the regular bifocal and trifocal lenses. Moreover, the position of these zones can be customized for your needs. However,
What type of lens you should choose?
The type of lens you should choose for your computer eye strain glasses depends on your age. If you’re around 40 years old or older, you probably have some level of presbyopia, the normal loss of near focusing that happens with age. Even if you’ve never had any problems with your vision, you will have presbyopia at some degree after the age of forty.
In case you have presbyopia, the best choice for you are computer eye strain glasses that have multifocal lenses since they provide better depth of focus than single vision lenses. They will allow you to see your computer screen clearly as well as objects that are closer and farther away from your computer screen.
It is a similar situation with people who already wear prescription glasses. You need to choose lenses that will suit all your needs. That is why the best way is to do an eye exam at optometrist or ophthalmologist. They will recommend you the best lenses for you and your problems.
Lens tints and Lens coatings
Computer eye strain glasses don’t need to have previously mentioned modified lenses in order to help with digital eye strain. The reduction of digital eye strain can also be achieved by having a anti-reflective coating on top of the regular lens or by filtering the blue light emitted from the screen.
Glasses with anti-reflective lens coating reduce the glare from indoor and outdoor lighting and increase contrast while those that have yellow, amber or orange tint actually block blue light rays emitted from the screen. In addition to change of our sleep cycle, blue light also contributes to digital eye strain by increasing the glare and lowering the contrast from the screen.
You should know that not all computer eye strain glasses have all of these previously mentioned features. Some of these glasses have only one of the features while others have two or all of them. If you want the best protection, I do recommend getting the ones that have all three features- modified lens, lens tint for blue light blocking and anti-glare coating.
Quality doesn’t have to be associated with the price of computer glasses. There are some pretty cheap computer eye strain glasses with excellent protection and quality available on the market.
Design and materials
Your computer eye strain glasses can look the same as your regular glasses that you use. There are various designs available on the market as well as materials used for frames and lenses.
Where to buy computer eye strain glasses?
As I’ve previously mentioned, computer eye strain glasses differ from other types of glasses in various ways. That is why you shouldn’t use reading glasses for computer work and as a way to reduce digital eye strain and its symptoms.
If you want to get the best out of computer screen glasses, you should go to ophthalmologist or optometrist and get a custom made glasses. You should also measure how far you like to sit from your computer before you go to eye care professional. The most accurate measurement is the distance between the bridge of your nose and the surface of your computer screen.
Over-the-counter computer glasses can be great choice, but they’re probably not going to be effective as custom made, especially if you already use prescription eyewear. Although these over-the-counter glasses can help reduce digital eye strain symptoms significantly by filtering blue light and reducing the glare and reflections, there are cases where you need special prescription lenses in order to have comfortable and clear vision.
Computer eye strain glasses should become essential for every single one of you that spend a lot of your time looking at screen. Without these glasses, many of you will suffer from blurred vision, eye strain, headaches and various different symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
Choosing the right computer eye strain glasses can be difficult and I hope that with this text you’ve learned more about these special type of glasses, its benefits and what to consider when buying a pair.