Computer technology has evolved faster than the human eyeball. Our eyes accommodate our reading needs by focusing downward and approximately 16 inches away. Most computer monitors sit about 18 to 24 inches away from our eyes and only a few degrees below eye level. This is not much of a problem if your visual system is working accurately, but if you have a little refractive error such as astigmatism, farsightedness, or a difference between the two eyes, the result may be headaches, eyestrain and frustration.
If you are 40 years of age or older, the stress of viewing a computer screen is probably compounded by presbyopia: your eyes no longer accommodate, or focus, to read. (You may have noticed that your arms seem shorter.) Bifocals are often prescribed between the ages of 40 and 50, to allow you to see a distant object and also focus downward and close-up.
For someone who spends more than a couple of hours a day in front of a computer screen, a pair of glasses designed specifically for that task is the best solution. Do you wear cleats for golf? Flip-flops at the beach? Old tennis shoes to wash the dog? Do you have special shoes for special events? One pair of shoes can not fill every need; a single pair of glasses does not either.
A lens designed especially for the computer is recommended. It may be a single vision lens or a specifically designed multifocal.
A few more tips for comfortable computer use:
• Modify the room lighting to reduce glare and reflections.
• Anti-glare coatings can also eliminate reflections from windows, overhead lights and other computer monitors
• Place reference materials close to the screen so you do not have to turn your head back and forth to read.
• Use high-index materials to keep lenses thinner and lighter in weight.
• Take breaks to rest your eyes.
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