So what are we talking about here – style or substance? Well, both actually. If I am going to put something on my eyes I want eyewear that has science and technology underpinning it, not a couple of guys relabelling sunglasses as glasses for computers in the back lot of Eye Eye Inc. But I also want a design aesthetic, not just a medically approved Clark-Kent-style any-color-as-long-as-it’s-black option. So, how to choose?
Our zone of vision is divided into 3 areas – Near, Intermediate, and Far. Regular glasses, including bifocals, usually help you see better at Near or Far ranges. Computer use occurs in the Intermediate range. Regular eyewear does not have the range needed for comfortable computer use. (Trifocals do have a small portion focused on Intermediate but not enough to make a significant difference).
Digital eyewear – aka glasses for computers – is purpose made. If it is not, don’t buy it! Computer glasses are not reading glasses, or imitation sunglasses, and they are not prescription glasses. (But for those who wear prescription glasses the lenses can be ordered with the eyewear). They are, or should be, the result of intensive study and research on the human optical system and its interaction with digital devices.
If they are not specifically designed to combat the vision, eye and general discomfort symptoms of CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome), don’t bother with them – they are repackaged something or other. If they are designed digital eyewear the manufacturer will be very clear about it in their marketing material.
There is a significant difference in the glasses required for focusing on print and focusing on the image of a typical computer screen, the Macular Degeneration Society reports, even if both are held at the same distance from the eyes. The eyes have to focus differently to view a digital screen, and this is one of the major causes of computer eye strain. Only glasses for computers /digital eyewear are/is designed to enable the eyes to focus without strain on a digital screen.
Improper lighting can account for up to 30% of the CVS symptoms we experience, especially fluorescent lights. An Ultraviolet (UV) coating eliminates most of the blue component light that is hardest on the human eye. Make sure the glasses you choose have polycarbonate lenses that have a built-in UV coat.
Lens tints affect the perceived brightness and color of the computer screen and decrease the amount your eyes have to focus on the characters on the screen. They also filter out the unwanted effects of colors, like the blue in fluorescent lighting, which cause computer eyestrain. Lens tints provide added comfort for some computer users and a reputable supplier will give you this option.
Also check to see if the lenses have an Anti-reflective (AR) coating. This cuts down glare, which causes over-focusing, eyestrain and headaches.
In terms of design there should be no lessening of the aesthetic standards we have become used to with sunglasses and regular eyewear. Otherwise you are settling for something less than professional. Look to see what the professional digitali-gamers, bloggers, and the like – are using. Both form and substance matter to them.
There is no one type of glasses for computers glasses that fits all or is the best for everyone. But these directions should help in narrowing your selection.
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