What are computer lenses?
There are a number of different types of computer lens. If you are using a computer for many hours a day it is recommended that you have a separate pair of glasses focused at computer distance (usually further away than general reading) or one of the new occupational/lifestyle lenses specially designed for today’s computer orientated environment.
Generally bi-focal and progressive lenses are not ideal for viewing a computer screen. The screen will not be clear through the top of the lens (focused for distance) and, unless the screen is below eye level you will need to tilt your head right back to look at the screen through a lower part of the lens. With a bifocal lens you will also need to move closer as the bottom (reading) segment is focused at a reading, rather than computer, distance. Over time this will lead to eye strain, neck and back problems.
Progressive lenses can work slightly better for computer screens, particularly laptops, because the intermediate portion is more appropriate for the longer distance. However, you will still have to tilt your head back to look through the lower part of the lens unless your desk top monitor is below eye level.
Are normal reading glasses suitable for the computer?
Reading glasses are designed to focus at a typical reading distance of between 35 and 40cm. When you are new to reader glasses and the prescription is quite low the lenses have a more flexible range of focus and may work well for tasks between 25 and 50cm. However, as your reading prescription increases with age (or if you are also long sighted generally) the range over with you can comfortable see becomes progressively more restricted.
How do I know if I need computer glasses?
If you find that you have to crane your neck forward or move closer to see the computer screen causing backache or neck ache then it is time to think about computer lenses.
If you spend a significant portion of your day looking at screens whether working, studying, gaming or texting, it is possible that you would benefit from lenses that help protect your eyes from the effects of visual stress and fatigue, even if you do not normally wear glasses.