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Do you need computer glasses?

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Are you on a computer during your work day? Are you tired of tilting your head back to comfortably see your computer through your progressive lenses? Do you work with multiple monitors at your work station?  If so, we recommend a pair of computer glasses.

Choosing the correct lens design for your activities of daily living is very important. New technology has given us a variety of lenses designed specifically for all near and computer work that are primarily worn at your computer/desk. Computer glasses have a wide intermediate viewing area paired with a wide near viewing area. This means you can easily view your work area while maintaining a normal, comfortable head position.

Children and young adults who need prescription eyeglasses usually are prescribed single vision lenses. These lenses correct the wearer's nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism, and the shape of the lens inside the eye automatically adjusts to provide the extra magnifying power required for computer vision and near vision.

When a person's close-up vision becomes less clear due to presbyopia ("short arm disease" ;) after age 40, this age-related loss of natural focusing power affects reading and seeing a smartphone or computer clearly or comfortably. Bifocals can provide clear distance and near vision, but intermediate vision often remains a problem, and progressive lenses often don't have a large enough intermediate zone for comfortable computer work.  This is especially evident if you have multiple monitors at your desk and try to see all of them in that small intermediate zone.

Some computer glasses even filter blue light, and can look clear instead of tinted.  There are also anti-reflective treatments geared to filtering blue light as well. These can help with eyestrain caused by the blue light emitted from the computer screens.

Generally, computer glasses have about 60 percent the magnifying power of reading glasses. But the optimal magnification depends on how far you prefer to sit from your computer screen and how close you like to hold your digital devices.

For these reasons, computer glasses should be customized to your individual needs. Using weaker, non-prescription reading glasses for computer work and seeing your digital devices typically won't provide the accurate vision correction you need for sustained clarity and comfort.

Laura Branstetter