If you work at a computer and suffer from headaches, eyestrain, dry eyes, or blurred vision, then you may have Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). In the last ten years, CVS has become an epidemic because so many patients must use a computer for their job. The symptoms of CVS are even worse for patients over the age of 40 who require a bifocal or progressive lens. The good news is that a special computer prescription may be the perfect solution to your computer vision problems.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Many patients struggling with computer vision syndrome may not realize what’s causing their problem. Some patients often blame their headaches, neck aches, and eyestrain on stress, migraines, or even sinus problems. So how can you know if your problems are due to computer vision syndrome?
First, start by considering how you use your glasses at the computer. You should not have to tilt your head back and sit close to the computer screen. Patients who tilt their head back are using their near vision and they are looking too far down in the lens.
Other patients may sit too far from the computer so that they can look through the top of their lenses. This may lead to squinting and blurred vision. These awkward postures and positions can contribute to fatigue, neck aches, and headaches.
Fortunately, there is a third option, a middle ground between the two extremes of distance and near vision. When used properly, the intermediate power in a progressive lens can solve most computer related problems. That’s because the intermediate vision is perfectly focused for most computer monitors and it allows computer users to maintain proper posture and head tilt while using the computer.
What is Intermediate Vision?
First it’s important to understand that there are three main powers built in to every progressive multi-focal lens. The distance power is located in the top half of the lens and is focused for objects that are greater than three feet away. Likewise, every pair of progressive lenses also has a near zone at the bottom of the lenses that is focused for reading material at a distance of 18 inches.
The intermediate prescription is located somewhere in the middle of the progressive lens. The intermediate power is focused for a distance of 24 to 27 inches or “arm’s length.” It just so happens that most, but not all, computer users position their computer monitor at arm’s length.
Unfortunately, the problem is that this intermediate portion of most progressive lenses is usually too small for easy, comfortable viewing.
Many users are either struggling to find the intermediate vision or they fail to find the intermediate power. Those who fail to find the intermediate power may accidentally be using either the distance or near portion of their lenses.
The Computer Vision Solution
So how does a computer prescription work? The key to a computer prescription is to maximize the amount of intermediate vision area in the top of a progressive lens. The diagrams on this page show how the intermediate vision in computer glasses is much larger than in a normal progressive.
Typically, special testing is not required to find a patient’s computer prescription. That is because the computer power is almost always equal to 50% of a patient’s near or reading power. For most patients, this means a new eye exam is not necessary to get computer glasses. If you have a valid prescription, less than one year old, you can order computer glasses without a new eye exam.
Finally, since screen glare is often a problem for computer users, I like to recommend an anti-reflective coating for all computer glasses.
Our office has seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients buying computer glasses. In fact, many patients are buying a new pair of regular glasses and then ask if they can still use their old frame and have it made into their computer glasses. This is a smart, affordable way to get computer glasses.
If you are having headaches and eyestrain or if you are struggling with your current glasses at the computer, contact our office at 330-725-4680 today or stop by in-person. You never need an appointment to shop for glasses in our office.