Did you ever have one of those days where texting and working on the computer could just make you cry? Not because it’s total drama in the dorm, but because you’re eyes are soooo tired from staring at the screens—your laptop in class, your phone in the quad, and your table before going to sleep can really do a number on your eyes, resulting in Computer Vision Syndrome.
If that’s your life, you’re not alone! A report from the National Institutes of Health shows that the average college student spends way more time on the computer and devices than people out in the workforce—about 18 hours a day compared to 12 hours for the working folks. So you really have to take care of your eyes to be comfortable on your devices, and computer eyeglasses with lenses made just for looking at screens may be just the thing.
Computer Vision Syndrome
So you might have a cute pair of clear lens glasses as a cute accessory for your geek-chic days, but you don’t need them to see the board in the lecture hall or to drive. But computer lenses might be the exact thing you need to see your screens better.
If you’re spending more than two hours a day in front of a screen (duh) you might have computer vision syndrome. Not sure? Do you have these symptoms described by All About Vision?
- Double Vision
- Loss of Focus
- Eye Twitching
- Burning Eyes
- Blurred Vision
Well, it’s NBD, you’re not going blind! But don’t ignore these symptoms because they won’t go away unless you step away from the screen. And that’s pretty impossible with a paper due tomorrow and a test the next day. Not to mention the snap chats that need snapping.
Instead, head to your eye doctor to test drive a pair of computer lenses. In fact, even if you DO wear glasses, you might find that they aren’t doing the trick with your devices and you might have some of the symptoms listed above, too. Get to the eye doctor for a complete exam to confirm that your current prescription is correct and ask about how a pair of glasses with computer lenses can help your daily sight.
Computer lens designs, powers, tints, and coatings, the American Optometric Association (AOA) notes, are meant to deal with your specific and unique needs for comfortably looking at screens.
When it comes to the basic lens, if you don’t wear any prescription your eye doctor might prescribe a little bump of magnification in their computer lenses that’s optimal for a computer screen, helping to ease eyestrain.
If you already wear eyeglasses, your optometrist can work with you on multi-focal options so you can look at your screen with lots of comfort and then also see the world beyond when you come up for a 20-second break.
Depending on what works best for your vision, your eye doctor might prescribe a lens with a coating on it for improved computer vision.
The starting point can be an anti-reflective lens, which you might already have on your driving glasses if you are sensitive to the lights of oncoming traffic.
Another coated lens for your glasses, “blue lenses,” cut away the glare from devices and also filter out the short-wave “blue” light that kicks off the whole annoyance of eye strain and glare in the first place.
While some computer stores and drug stores may offer computer vision glasses, always head to your eye doctor for a complete exam and prescription for computer vision glasses. The off-the-shelf options won’t be custom made for your specific challenges—and you need those eyes in top shape for school and beyond!