Technological advances have driven many changes, from how people work to how they spend their free time. As young and old alike continue to invest more and more time using computers, laptops, TVs and cell phones, more and more people are experiencing digital eye strain. Symptoms range from sore, dry or irritated eyes to blurred vision, eye twitching, headaches, fatigue, back and neck pain, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms may be reduced or relieved altogether with the use of computer glasses.
Computer glasses are prescription glasses that are designed to wear when doing computer work to allow you to focus your eyes on a computer screen, which is farther away than the distance reading material is normally held.
Blue Light Glasses
Computer screen glasses are also known as blue light glasses. They block blue light that causes eye strain due to prolonged viewing of digital screens. Blue light is part of the color spectrum, and everyone is exposed to it through sunlight. It has a shorter wavelength than other colors, and is emitted by electronic devices, from smartphones to TVs and more. The glare from blue light is what causes digital eye strain and its symptoms, and it can impact you in many other ways.
Sleep Disruption and Its Effects
Melatonin is a hormone that controls the body’s sleeping and waking cycles. Darkness promotes the production of melatonin, which helps you get ready for sleep. Light causes melatonin production to decrease, sending a message that it is time to wake. When you’re relaxing in bed, watching TV or scrolling through social media, your body receives mixed messages about when to go to sleep. It’s not just a good night’s sleep that you are inhibiting, you may be at risk of developing additional problems:
- Increased risk of prostate and breast cancers
- Cataracts and possible retinal damage
- Disruption of hunger-controlling hormones, which could lead to increased risk of obesity
- Suppressed melatonin levels, making you more susceptible to depression
- Longtime sleep deprival may lead to a buildup of neurotoxins that makes it harder still to sleep well
- Poor sleep can disrupt your memory and make it hard to focus and learn
Disrupted sleep cycles have the potential to cause a host of physical problems. Research is ongoing, but blue light exposure at night is believed to contribute to all of these issues.
Ways to Reduce Eye Strain
You may hear conflicting advice about whether or not blue light is the cause of some eye problems you are experiencing. Along with getting an eye exam to determine whether your vision needs correction, there are several precautions you can take to reduce or avoid eye strain.
- Take timely vision breaks using the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Reduce overhead lighting and use a matte screen filter, which helps eliminate glare.
- Maintain good posture and sit an arm’s distance away when working at a computer screen.
- Increase the size of text on your devices so you don’t have to strain to see it.
- Limit or eliminate cellphone use before bedtime as blue light has been shown to disrupt melatonin and make it hard to sleep.
- Use blue light computer glasses to block screen glare from digital devices.
If you have had an eye exam and are experiencing digital eye strain, consider using computer glasses to ease the symptoms. You can get computer glasses even if your eyesight is perfect to protect you from blue light and its effects.
How Do Computer Glasses Work?
Computer glasses can be made with prescription lenses or without them. The lenses have an anti-reflective coating that blocks reflections from both the front and back lens surfaces, filtering out blue light and reducing screen glare. Lenses are also tinted to boost screen contrast and make it easier to see images. Computer glasses are available in three types of lenses.
- Unmagnified: Lenses without magnification.
- Full magnification: This lens has a single field of magnification, with even distribution.
- Multifocal: Three different strengths for reading, computer use, and other interactions.
You may be tempted to simply pick up a pair of off-the-rack reading classes, but they are not the same as computer glasses and don’t have the lens coatings needed to filter blue light. To find the ones that are right for you, first, have your eyes examined by a professional who can write you a prescription if needed. You can then order computer glasses online here at Safety Gear Pro.
How Do I Know if I Have Digital Eye Strain?
If you have sore eyes, blurred vision, headaches or neck and shoulder pain, you are a good candidate. If these symptoms resolve on their own after you take a break from the computer and other devices, it’s likely digital eye strain. For persistent symptoms even after a break, see your doctor.
Where Does Blue Light Come From?
Blue light is part of the natural color spectrum. Because it has the shortest wavelength, it is also the source of glare and needs to be filtered out for comfortable viewing. Computer glasses work much the same as sunglasses do when blocking UV rays, except they specifically block only blue light.
Do Computer Glasses Help?
Computer glasses have an anti-reflective coating, as well as tinting, that filters out blue light and boosts the onscreen contrast so your eyes can easily see and interpret images on the screen without straining. They also magnify the text and images you see for a more comfortable viewing session.
Do I Need a Prescription for Computer Glasses?
No, you don’t need a prescription. However, you should have your eyes examined to ensure that you don’t need corrective lenses before ordering computer glasses. If you do need vision correction, you can order prescription lenses with added features for computer use. If not, you can choose single-vision computer glasses.
Do I Need Computer Glasses?
There is no evidence that directly links digital eye strain to vision or other health problems. Researchers are currently studying whether strain affects eye health by increasing the risk of cataracts and retina damage over time. They are also studying the connection between nighttime light exposure, disturbed sleep and increased risk of cancers.
If you have determined that you can benefit from computer glasses, visit Safety Gear Pro for a large selection of styles. When ordering online, look for anti-reflective and blue-light-filtering options and add them to your order to enjoy the benefits of computer glasses.
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