Redirects blue light away from eyes. Fashionable frames at a basic price point. Very lightweight lenses. Includes a protective case and cleaning cloth.
Smudges can be difficult to remove. Some users report additional eye strain. Exterior light can cause unwanted reflections. Flimsy frames.
Effective against eyestrain headaches. Lenses are light yellow, not a dark tint. Good correction as reading glasses.
Frames are easily bent and can arrive misaligned. Some lens distortion reported. Smudges and fingerprints difficult to remove.
Extremely effective blue light blockage. Noticeable sleep improvement reported. 3 frame sizes available. Frames are sturdy and stylish.
Frames have some alignment issues. Lenses are reflective on both sides, which creates glare. Orange tint is very noticeable.
Designed to fit over most frame styles. Reduces dry eye and headaches. Blue-blocking tint is not just a coating. Thin polymer lenses add minimal weight to the wearer's original frames.
Frames are flimsy, nose pieces and bridge can fall off. Lens edges are rough, abrasive. Amber color is dark, may trigger eye strain.
Lenses address fluorescent light issues. Stylish retro tortoiseshell frames. Higher corrective strengths available. Super-low price.
Anti-glare coating not durable. Some users report increased eyestrain. Lenses and frames are very thin, edges are visible.
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With most Americans spending as much as half of their day reading from a screen, eye strain is an ever-growing health issue. Computer reading glasses can help reduce glare and prevent harmful blue light from reaching your eyes while offering a clear view of your screen.
Two common vision ailments are computer vision syndrome and presbyopia, both of which can be eased with a reliable pair of computer reading glasses. Some computer glasses can be purchased to fit your prescription, while most function as reading glasses or simply block light and glare. Yellow-tinted lenses are a signature look of many computer reading glasses, but these may not suit your style – and some people find the visible tint irritating. The percentage of light blocked and visible light allowed to pass through the lenses will vary from pair to pair, so you should carefully consider your needs and preferences when searching for computer reading glasses.
As you may wear your glasses for eight hours a day or more, it’s important to find a pair that works for you and suits your style.
Are computer reading glasses right for you? Before you purchase a pair of glare- or blue-light-reducing glasses you may want to meet with your optometrist to make sure that your irritation doesn’t stem from vision problems and is indeed related to screen usage.
We will take a look at the types of light emitted by screens that pose a risk to our eyes and different vision impairments related to screen usage.
Presbyopia is an age-related form of vision deterioration that impacts your ability to focus on nearby objects. If you suffer from presbyopia, your optometrist may recommend computer reading glasses that take this into consideration.
Computer vision syndrome, or CVS, is the medical name for eye strain induced by regular screen or computer usage. Symptoms include difficulty focusing on nearby or distant objects, eye pain, headaches, or even neck and back pain.
Blue light is a part of the visible spectrum of light and can do permanent damage to the retina. While sunlight contains more blue light than any other light source, the amount of time we spend looking at phone and computer screens and the proximity of the light source add up to a potentially harmful amount of blue light. Many computer reading glasses are designed to filter out harmful blue light from screens and fluorescent lights.
UV light is not emitted from LCD screens found in computers or smart phone screens, so there is no need to worry about UV exposure from your screen. Many computer reading glasses offer UV protection, which won’t protect you from your computer screen but can protect you from other UV light sources like sunlight.
Glare is the reflection on the inside or outside of glasses lens that can disrupt your vision. Glasses with anti-glare (or anti-reflective) coatings can prevent this, making it easier for you to view screens clearly. In addition, your eyes will remain more visible to others with anti-glare coatings.
What type of computer reading glasses are right for you? That depends on your vision, daily screen time, and personal preferences. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to eye protection, so you should carefully consider your situation and your needs.
Diopter and magnification
You may be looking for computer reading glasses that do nothing more than block out harmful blue light. If this is the case, you should look for glasses with 1.0 magnification or +0.00 diopter lenses.
If you are looking for some assistance in reading your screen, you will want glasses with some magnification.
The magnification level is the approximate enlargement you can expect from glasses, ranging from around 1.1 to 2.0 magnification. The higher the magnification level, the shorter the focal length of the lens.
The diopter of a lens is the measurement system commonly used by optometrists, which people with prescription glasses may be familiar with. The diopter roughly corresponds to four times the magnification, so a 4.0 diopter lens would offer 2.0 magnification (since 2.0 magnification is a 100% increase from the default 1.0 magnification).
If you are unsure of the right diopter lens for you, consider visiting your primary care physician or optometrist for an eye examination. Otherwise, you can try on reading glasses to find a comfortable diopter for you.
Blue-light-blocking prescription glasses can be fairly costly. If you are not interested in prescription computer glasses, many designs can fit over your regular glasses comfortably and may even attach to the frames of the prescription glasses. Comfort levels may vary, so you should find a design that is likely to work with your glasses and has slightly larger lenses.
Once you have determined the right type of glasses and decided whether you need magnification or diopter lenses, you should consider additional factors like the tint, frames, appearance, and additional accessories.
Tint and appearance
Many computer reading glasses have a yellow or orange tint, which may or may not be visible when wearing the glasses. This tint can aid in blocking blue light, but some users find it irritating. In addition, others may be able to see the tint clearly, so a tint-free pair of computer glasses may suit your style better.
Reflective inner lenses
The inside of the lenses may reflect light, which is not a good thing. This can make it difficult to see and can be distracting, particularly if you are sitting with a light or a window behind you. If possible, look for lenses with anti-glare or anti-reflective coating that won’t catch additional light and reflect it back at your eyes.
Computer reading glasses have countless frame choices, so the overall style is largely up to you. If you’ve worn glasses before, you may have tried on frames and know what shapes work best with your features. If you’ve never worn glasses before, a good general rule is that rounder faces are flattered by more square or rectangular lenses, while squarer faces tend to look better in rounder frames. Durability should be a consideration as well; choose thicker plastic frames if you are relatively hard on glasses (or tend to store them without a case).
There’s a good chance you will be wearing your computer reading glasses for several hours at a time. Heavier glasses can be somewhat uncomfortable, causing strain on the bridge of your nose and ears. If you only intend to use your glasses periodically, this may not be an issue, but for all-day use, consider the weight of a pair of glasses when making your decision.
Some computer reading glasses may come with a glasses case, which can protect your frames and lenses when you aren’t wearing your glasses and make it easier to carry them in your bag. A cleaning cloth, if included, can help you remove dust and oil without damaging the lens or any anti-reflective coatings.
Computer glasses in the $15 to $30 range often have heavily tinted lenses and plastic frames. Some may have magnification, but +0.0 diopter lenses are most common. Glasses in this range may be somewhat clunky.
For $30 to $50, you can find a classy and comfortable pair of computer reading glasses that come in a range of magnification levels and frame styles. Many glasses in this range have untinted lenses and may offer UV protection.
Computer reading glasses for $50 to $80 often include additional accessories like cases and cleaning cloths, and the frames may be made of materials like titanium of carbon fiber for durable and lightweight designs.
Taking a break from your computer or phone screen every 20 to 30 minutes to focus on a distant object can ease eye strain and strengthen your eye muscles.
Anti-glare coating is often fragile. Avoid touching your lenses with your fingers or cleaning them with anything but special lens cleaning cloths.
Eye strain is often the result of a difference in brightness between your computer or phone screen and your surroundings. Adjusting your screen accordingly can keep you working longer without discomfort.
Your computer or phone screen may offer a “night mode,” which can be used night or day to reduce the amount of blue light output by your screen.
Q. Can computer reading glasses be used for reading printed text or everyday use?
A. Since non-magnifying lenses won’t aid your reading and computer reading glasses with some magnification may be designed specifically for the distance at which you view a computer screen, they may not work as reading glasses and can cause additional eye strain.
Q. Do computer reading glasses make it more difficult to see your screen?
A. They shouldn’t. In fact, they may make it easier to read from your screen, particularly if you purchase glasses with a slight magnification.
Q. Do blue-light blocking glasses really block all blue light?
A. In the case of some of the heavily tinted options, they may. However, many computer glasses simply filter out a large portion of the blue light, which can still reduce eye strain and damage by a significant amount without an unpleasant yellow or orange tint.