What Are Computer Glasses?

The human eye was never designed to look at screens for long periods of time. Here’s how to maintain healthy eye sight, even if you use a computer all day for work.

woman with computer glassesPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

If you’re like most people, chances are that you’re spending more time looking at a screen than ever. And there’s no question that screen time has become a routine part of modern life. But in terms of evolution, the human eye was never designed to look at close objects for hours on end.

Thankfully, there are a lot of easy things we can do to take care of our eyes. Here are four things you can start doing if you want to make healthy eyesight a priority.

Why computer glasses?

Not all glasses are the same. Wearing task-specific glasses, which are designed to maintain the best vision and comfort in different situations, are one of the simplest things you can do to protect yourself against digital eyestrain.

Essentially, wearing computer glasses will help you to look at a screen for longer periods of time much more comfortably, says Bijan Minbashian, the vice-president of operations at Hakim Optical. With computer glasses, your prescription will be more specific to help you read on the computer. Computer glasses also help your eyes to adjust to the distances of the different screens you’re using.

Computer glasses look just like regular lenses, except they just have a yellow tint that absorbs the harmful blue light from screens.

Minimize blue light exposure

“A lot of screens, mostly with LCD and LED monitors, produce an additional blue wavelength. This wavelength is harmful to the biology and physiology of the eye,” says Minbashian.

Although wearing computer glasses will assist in blocking this harmful blue light, there are other things you can do to minimize blue light exposure.

Try turning on the night shift, or download a night shift app, on your phone. On night shift, your phone will switch its blue rays to a warmer light, which is less disruptive to sleep.

“It’s not yet conclusive, but a lot of studies from different scientists are being done about the long-term exposure of blue light,” Minbashian explains. “There’s a cause for concern because they’re seeing more cancer in the retina and other eye conditions that are happening to people at a younger age than before.”

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Being on a computer, tablet or phone for long periods of time puts a lot of strain on your eyes. Just like any other part of your body, your eyes will be strained when they’re over worked.

Similar to the way that you “feel the burn” in your biceps when you’re lifting heavy weights, your eyes also get fatigued. But instead of a burning sensation, when your eyes are tired, you’ll experience blurry version, itchy or red eyes.

The only way to avoid this eyestrain is to follow the 20-20-20 rule, says Minbashian. For every 20 minutes you’re using a device, like your laptop, look at something 20 feet away. Doing this for a minimum of 20 seconds will give your eyes a much-needed break.

Eat foods for healthy eyes    

Carrots aren’t the only foods that are good for your eyes. Dark green vegetables, sweet potatoes and fatty fish contain essential nutrients that help maintain strong, healthy eyesight. Read this list for more foods to eat for optimal eye health.