How Can Computer Glasses Reduce Eye Strain?
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The rise in digital technology has meant that for most of us, we spend large parts of our day staring at a screen – be it a computer, smartphone or tablet.
This has, in turn, had a significant impact on certain aspects of our health. Particularly our eyes.
What is Digital Eye Strain?
You might find that even if you don’t normally need glasses, you find yourself straining to see while working at a computer. Or it might be that you do usually wear glasses or contact lenses, but they simply don’t cut it when you’re reading from a screen.
If so, you mind find yourself squinting, or craning your neck forward for increased vision. All of this can lead to headaches, neck pain and back pain. You may also experience blurred vision, eye irritation, and dry, red and irritable eyes.
Image by Grook Da Oger via Wikimedia Commons
What is CVS?
The symptoms can vary, but they all fall under the category of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). This is the term used to describe eye conditions associated with long-term computer use.
CVS happens because when you use a computer (or even a smartphone or tablet), your eyes constantly go back and forth across the screen. Or they might dart down to the keyboard, at your notes, or across the room.
Every time your eyes move, they must quickly refocus and form an image that your brain can process. Even if you don’t look away from your screen, just the movement required to read the screen takes an enormous amount of effort from your eye muscles.
You might wonder how this differs from reading a book. But a computer screen has the added problem of glare and flicker, which causes your eyes to tire more quickly. And if your work is computer-based, it’s likely that you’ll be repeating this eye movement for large parts of the day – much longer than you’d typically read a book for.
It’s worth knowing that these symptoms are likely to get worse as you get older, as your eye lenses become less flexible. This usually happens around the age of 40. That being said, CVS can affect anyone, including children who spend a lot of time in front of a screen.
Computer glasses reduce eye strain
So what can do you? After all, it’s pretty difficult to avoid using a computer, particularly if it’s necessary for you to do your job.
Well if you are experiencing the symptoms described above, the first thing you should do is book an appointment with an optometrist.
An optometrist will perform an eye exam. This assessment will help to establish whether you have any underlying eye conditions, whether you need glasses or your prescription needs to be changed, and whether you’d benefit from a different type of treatment.
If your symptoms are computer-related, it’s likely that you’ll be recommended computer glasses.
How does computer glasses work?
Computer glasses reduce eye strain that occurs as a direct result of viewing a computer screen.
They are not the same as the glasses you might use for other tasks, such as reading and driving. So if you have a pair of reading glasses, for example, they won’t have the same effect as a pair of computer glasses.
This is because as the name suggests, computer glasses are specifically designed for working at a computer.
If you think about how far away your computer is from your eyes, you’ll find that it’s further away than you would hold a book, but closer than the signposts you need to read when driving. It’s in an intermediate zone, which computer glasses are devised for.
Computer glasses also have anti-glare and anti-flicker features, known as an anti-reflective coating. This reduces the amount of glare that is reflected back from your computer screen and onto the lenses of your glasses.
This allows more light to pass through the lens, helping to limit the fatigue your eyes often feel when using a computer for long periods of time.
These are just some of the ways in which computer glasses can reduce eye strain and improve your overall eye health. There are many different types of computer glasses available, and they all suit different needs.
Your optometrist will be able to advise you on the lenses that will best accommodate your individual requirements.
Once you know what lenses you need, all you have to do is choose a frame. At Image Optometry, we have a wide range of men’s glasses and women’s glasses, which you can buy at our online store. We also have a range of kids’ glasses available. You have the choice of buying just the frame or the frame with your prescription lenses.
To find out more about how computer glasses reduce eye strain, book an eye exam with us, the largest, most affordable eye care chain in British Columbia.