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"Computer" glasses: Are they worth it?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering for people who use computers a lot and use glasses: do you find that computer glasses help? Right now I'm in need to new glasses, and I was wondering if it's worth it to spend the extra money to get them. (I'm a big fan or CRTs, if that makes a difference). Thanks for your input!
post #2 of 9
Do you mean literally, computer glasses, like the stereophonic ones or whatever? Those burn your eyes like twice as fast as CRTs do.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Computer glasses as described on this OHSA web page.
post #4 of 9
If you mean glasses that focus closer to you than normal glasses, say about 20 to 24 inches which is what they call computer glasses around here, then I'd say it depends.

I have bifocals and a few years ago I started to get an awful crink in my neck from tilting my head upwards to look at my computer screen. It got really painful after awhile - it was compressing the vertebrae in my neck so bad it started to get numb. So I got another pair of glasses where the entire lense had my bifocal perscription ... these generally focus to around 18 inches and locally are referred to as reading glasses. They were great and I could look at the computer screen for many hours without any problems with my neck or eyes. They also worked well when I turned to my desk to work.

Recently I got a new pair and they convinced me to try the computer distances (I think it was 20 inches). I thought ... what the heck ... they're the experts, it wasn't much of a difference and maybe it'll be even better. Wrong choice! I found that they were okay looking at the monitor but when I tried to work at my desk they were next to useless. I was allowed one perscription change for free and when they changed them back to reading glasses everything was great.

Note, however, that while this worked for me, your circumstances may vary.

Hope you find something that works good for you ... Gord SW Ont.

Edit: Note that these reading/computer glasses are in addition to my normal glasses which I still need for normal use.
post #5 of 9
My wife uses computer glasses as described in your OSHA link, and finds that her eyes don't feel as tired after 8 hours of work. Hers are bifocals, but the bottom portion is larger than her standard bifocals, and is adjusted to the distance between her eyes and her monitor. She has gotten two others in her dept. to switch to them and they also swear by them now. When work is over she switches back to her normal glasses.

post #6 of 9
My optician suggested special clip-ons for my regular glasses that would change the prescription in order to accomdate computer use. These have worked out very well, and are much less expensive than having a pair of glasses dedicated to computer use. He also recommended a coating that was supposed to reduce glare. That was a bit problematid as they pick up smudges and spots much more easily than uncoated lenses. However, I do find the anti glare coating very helpful when driving at night. Some how, more of the road stays visible when another car's headlights are coming at me, so I suppose there is some subtle difference when looking at the computer screen. Of course, I am spending much more time keeping my glasses and clip-ons clean and smudge free.
post #7 of 9
The human visual system is not designed to focus at near point for long periods of time. This includes reading, computers, and anything else requiring long periods of close work. In order for the eye to focus at near point, the muscles surrounding the lens contract, distorting the shape of the lens so that visual input focuses at the retina (rather behind it). The ability to shift focus from near to far can be called "accomodation". When the lens doesn't shift focus properly, it's called "accomodative spasm". You don't want this. In some cases, it can be relieved with visual therapy. In other cases, long periods of close work, particularly when young, can result in permanent myopia (near-sightedness).

Computer glasses alter the focal distance, so the muscles of the eye don't have to contract as much to reach the proper focal distance at near-point. The relaxation of the muscles can result in headache reduction. Computer glasses differ from reading glasses, as the focal distance for a monitor is normally farther away than the distance of a book. They can reduce, and even prevent, later myopia (in addition to any immediate benefits). These glasses should be prescribed by someone who knows what they are doing, which is not always the case in vision care.
post #8 of 9
I dunno about the ones in your link, but I can tell you that anti-glare coatings meant for computer users help tremendously. Also, ambient lighting does a great deal. Ideally, all room lights are off, and you have a small desk lamp (preferably neutral in color, i.e. white LED or halogen) that provides adequate lighting for your area.
post #9 of 9
As far as CRT's are concerned, jack up that refresh rate and say goodbye to eyestrain. I used to work on a crappy Mac with like a 50hz refresh rate. God-awful headaches. Now I am using an 85hz refresh rate. No problems at all, and I read MANY pages online.
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