In this article, we’re going to compare computer glasses versus blue light glasses and which one is better at relieving digital eyestrain. Let’s take a look.
First off, what are computer glasses? Well, computer glasses are a dedicated pair of glasses with magnification power to relieve eye strain while looking at a near object that is about the distance of your computer screen. And yes, computer glasses are very similar to reading glasses. In fact, some people even use reading glasses as computer glasses—it really has to do with how far away the object you’re focusing on.
The Importance of the Right Computer Glasses
Simply put, computer glasses are more dedicated for a further away distance about 24 inches or 60 centimeters. That’s about perfect for most people’s computer screens. Reading glasses are more dialed in for objects up close closer to around 40 centimeters, or perhaps closer depending on where you like to hold things for reading.
In fact, we call this the Harmon distance, where your elbows are just barely touching your body and you’re holding an object out. The Harmon distance is ergonomically better for looking at things like books, magazines, newspapers, or perhaps your cell phone.
Taking Care of Your Eyes With Computer Glasses
The whole point of having this magnification in the pair of dedicated computer glasses is to relieve the muscle tension inside the eye, and the eye muscles outside of the eye from having to overwork and be fatigued from staring at a set distance so close for so long.
So if you’re somebody who spends a lot of time throughout your day on a digital screen up close and you’re getting eyestrain, maybe that pinching feeling between the nose pressure on the outside of your temples, or maybe headaches, then getting a pair of dedicated computer glasses could help relieve that feeling.
You can compare it to lifting weights: our eyes really aren’t meant to hold our eyes at a certain distance for so long. It’s kind of like lifting up a 20 pound weight and trying to hold it there for as long as you can, eventually your muscles are going to get tired. As for your eyes, computer glasses essentially lower the weight down. So maybe you’re holding a five pound weight instead of that 20.
Understanding the Basics of Blue Light Glasses
Now. there are many different types of blue light glasses out there. These glasses are essentially just glasses with either some type of reflector on the front or anti-reflective to bounce blue light away. They can also be more filtered lenses with kind of yellow or amber color to them.
Essentially, these eliminate the harsh blue light that you get from looking at things like computer screens, or any of the artificial LED light bulbs that we have in the home. And published studies on blue light has found that it does affect our melatonin production, and that affects our sleep cycles. There are even some studies out there that claim that blue light glasses help relieve eyestrain.
Now many types of blue light glasses that you find out there are usually non-prescription: they are simply just filters or some type of anti-reflective coating on top of a lens. So if you’re somebody who doesn’t want any prescription, maybe you just don’t like the feel of it, you don’t like the look of it, then you can always just get plain old lenses.
But because blue light blocking technology is really kind of an add on that can be made in the lenses themselves, you can even double up and you can have computer lenses that also have blue light blocking technology. In fact, that is what’s most often recommended for people who are looking for a dedicated pair of computer glasses. You can also go with nighttime eye glasses if you are having a hard time adjusting to lights at night.
Another thing that can get confusing is that there’s also gaming glasses. Don’t be too thrown off by this; gaming glasses are usually just computer glasses with a blue light filter in them. The problem is that oftentimes gaming glasses only come in non prescription or plain old lens, or they come in a very weak power like a +0.25 or a +0.50.
Taking Your Glasses’ Power Into Consideration
The real trick to finding a good pair of computer glasses and relieving digital eye strain has to do with finding the right powers of the computer glasses for you.
Now for most people to get the best pair of computer glasses, they will get that measured out at their eye clinic by their local eye care professional because there’s several things your eye doctor needs to consider. These include not just how far away or using a computer screen, but also the status of your eye muscles and how much those muscles can contract and hold a focusing distance. That’s something that does change throughout our lifetime and is very personal from person to person. So if you want the best pair you can get talk to your eye clinic.
However, if you’re somebody who does not require prescription glasses, or perhaps you wear contact lenses most of the time for distance, then perhaps you can look at some other options.
A quick rule of thumb that many eye care professionals will use to calculate at least the initial setup for the right powers for computer glasses and reading glasses is based on somebody’s age. As we all age, we lose the ability to really focus well up close. That means the older you get, the more power you will need for your computer glasses.
In general, if you’re under the age of 40, and have no problem seeing things up close, then finding a pair of computer glasses around a +0.25 or +0.50 can often help as it’s just enough power in the lenses to see that things are magnified. For people who are in their early to mid 40s, usually getting around a +1 reading prescription or again a computer glasses prescription is does excellent for those needs.
For somebody who’s aged 50. and above, they’re typically going to need something stronger, somewhere around a 1.25 going up to 1.50 and then ultimately around a 1.75. Again, these are all approximations based on age and I do recommend if you are looking for the best pair again speak to your eye doctor again because there are so many variables in this process.