On a typical day, I spend more than six hours in front of a computer screen. Even for those with excellent vision, staring at a computer screen all day can cause eyestrain. My vision is far from perfect; I am far-sighted and wear bifocals. This causes a dilemma when working on a computer. If I wear my glasses, I get a kink in my neck from raising my head to see through the bottom of my glasses. If I don't wear my glasses, at the end of the day I have a headache and sore, watery eyes from eyestrain.
Many other computer users have similar vision problems. In fact, there is a name for such problems; collectively they are called Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. This condition is an increasingly common complaint recognized by eye care professionals as eyestrain and/or headaches directly related to prolonged computer use.
Dr. Sheedy, OD, Ph.D., director of professional development at SOLA Optical and founder and head of the Computer Eye Clinic at the School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, was certainly correct when he recently stated, "Eyeglasses prescribed for general use may not be adequate for computer work. …As more and more people increase their time in front of the computer, computer-specific glasses could become the 'safety glasses' of the 21st Century."
About three years ago, I thought I had found a good solution to my problem. I bought a bigger monitor and a pair of computer glasses. The glasses were specially designed for work on a computer screen positioned about two and a half feet from my eyes. I expected my problem to disappear. No more eyestrain. No more sore neck. However, after a few days, I found this was not an effective solution. While working on the computer, I often need to read documents. Reading with my computer glasses was difficult at best. When I got up from the computer, I could not see well with my computer glasses. I was constantly taking my glasses on and off, which means I didn't wear the glasses as often as I should have.
Last year, I finally found the solution to my problem, a new type of computer glasses. SOLA Access Lenses are progressive lenses specially designed for clear uninterrupted vision. Intended for use with distances to up to seven feet, they are perfect for working on the computer. Besides computer users, the SOLA Lenses are popular with artists, musicians, and hobbyists. My eye doctor wears them in the office not only for clear vision for charts and detail work, but also for working with patients and equipment, most of which is within a seven-foot radius. These lenses completely solve the problem of taking your glasses on and off when working on the computer. I can use them comfortably for reading, using the computer, and general office work. As a matter of a fact, I prefer them to my regular bifocal lenses for all my reading and computer work.
However, be forewarned that using several different pairs of glasses can be burdensome. I now have bifocals for general wear, prescription sunglasses for driving and outdoor activities, and computer glasses. The question, "Where did I put my glasses?" is now answered by "Which ones?" Carrying all of them can be quite cumbersome. That inconvenience aside, if you wear bifocals and use the computer a lot, specific computer glasses can be an answer for you. Although they must be prescribed by your optometrist, ophthalmologist, or optician and are somewhat costly, SOLA Access Lenses can be an answer for some.
For those of you looking for a less expensive answer, see my review of the patented PCLens®, a simple inexpensive lens that clips onto your glasses but works like computer glasses by compensating for both the focusing demand and the elevated gaze of a desktop monitor..