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Do Computer Glasses Work?

Ask the Optician

By Claire Capuano
Reviewed by Beck Jinette
Beck Jinette

Reviewed by

Beck Jinette
Beck has over 17 years of experience in eye care, holding her Certificate IV in Dispensing in Australia.
With more time being spent behind digital screens, it’s important to understand your options when it comes to computer glasses.

We are spending more time than ever in front of digital screens, and this amount will likely continue to increase. We have all been there, staring, or possibly squinting, at a phone or computer screen for long hours. Our necks are aching and our eyes burning, but the work must be done! 

Don’t freight! Thanks to evolving lens technology, opticians are working hard to ensure our eyes can keep up with the digital changes we are facing. You’ve likely heard of computer glasses and their benefits, but do they work?

What are computer glasses?

Computer glasses are designed to ease digital eye strain and computer vision syndrome (CVS) caused by prolonged screen use. There are several varieties of computer glasses, including anti-glare lenses, blue light filters and computer progressive lenses

Designed to help you work on devices without worrying about eye strain or headaches, computer glasses can be an excellent solution for those who suffer from common symptoms. 

common symptoms of eyestrain
common symptoms of eye strain

How do computer glasses work?

Computer glasses are designed to reduce eye strain caused by spending too much time in front of our digital devices. There are several types of computer glasses and they all work differently.

  • Anti-glare coatings help to reduce the glare given off by our devices. Fewer reflections and glare allow more light to enter the eye, giving you clearer vision. 
  • Blue light filters minimize blue light exposure and the amount of it entering the eye. 
  • Computer progressive lenses optimize your vision to see clearly from computer distance. They differ from standard progressive lenses as they are only made to provide intermediate and near vision correction.
Computer glasses may be an effective way to protect our eyes and reduce digital eye strain.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), or digital eye strain, is a temporary vision condition caused by staring at a screen for long periods. The most common symptoms include eye fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck or shoulder pain. If your symptoms do not improve and your eye strain worsens, or you notice changes in your vision, it is crucial to visit your optometrist.

In addition to wearing computer glasses, additional tips to reduce symptoms and protect your eyes include:

  • Taking breaks from viewing devices
  • Blinking more
  • Increasing the font size on your device
  • Positioning your screens correctly
  • Doing  eye exercises, like the 20/20/20 rule

The 20/20/20 rule includes taking a break every 20 minutes and looking 20 meters away for 20 seconds to help the eye muscles relax.

how to prevent CVS
how to prevent CVS

What is blue light?

Blue light, also known as high energy visible (HEV) light, is a colour in the visible light spectrum that human eyes can see. Although the eyes can see blue light, they cannot effectively filter it, allowing more to pass through the front (cornea and lens) to the back of the eye (retina).

The wavelength of visible light is between 380-780 nanometers (nm). Generally, the shorter the wavelength, the higher the energy. Blue light is within the 380-500 nm range, giving it the shortest wavelength and the highest energy. 

What is the difference between computer glasses and blue light glasses?

Blue light-blocking glasses are considered a type of computer glasses. Blue light glasses are only designed to block out and reduce the possible harm of extended blue light exposure. They have lenses with a special lens add-on or tinted glass designed to reflect or block blue light from reaching your eyes. 

Generally, the best computer glasses will feature some kind of blue light filter. Depending on the wearer’s use and needs, they may include an anti-glare coating or progressive or prescription lens. 

Do you need a prescription for computer glasses?

Most computer glasses do not require a prescription if they only feature anti-reflective coatings or blue light filters. If you require computer reading glasses or computer progressive lenses, you will need an eye exam and up-to-date prescription from your optometrist.

Regular eyeglasses and computer glasses are different. As mentioned, computer glasses are only designed to reduce and relieve digital eye strain. They may have an anti-reflective coating, filter blue light, or include progressive lenses designed for computer use.

For those who wear glasses, SmartBuyGlasses offers the option to add blue light-blocking tints or anti-glare coatings directly to your prescription lenses, giving you both clear vision and the benefits of computer glasses. 

Are computer glasses worth it?

While computer glasses effectively reduce the amount of harmful blue light and reflections that enter the eyes, there is no research to suggest that they can improve or protect your eye health.

But, if you spend a lot of time on your computer or smartphone, they are a great aid in reducing glare and digital eye strain.

Should I be using computer glasses?

Computer glasses, including blue light glasses, anti-glare coatings, or computer progressive or reading glasses, may help to reduce digital eye strain. If you’re experiencing eye strain, it may benefit you to invest in a pair. 

Eye health should always be a priority. If you want to learn more about computer glasses or have any questions, head to our Optical Centre to speak with one of our in-house opticians. 

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