Specialty Eyewear Overview
Just as "one-size-fits-all" doesn't always fit, neither does one pair of eyeglasses for all situations.
Whether you want optimum vision and comfort for a specific activity, such as computer use, work, hobbies or driving, or you need glasses that provide an extra margin of safety for work or recreation, special-purpose eyeglasses will usually meet these needs better than your “everyday” glasses.
Blue Light Protection
By selectively blocking harmful blue light and ultraviolet rays, blue blocking and UV protective lenses help prevent the early occurrence of certain eye diseases.
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum and is emitted by the sun and artificial light sources such as LEDs, computers, and smartphones. Blue-violet light can have a harmful impact on the eyes, specifically the retina.
It is a risk factor for the onset of age-related macular degeneration which is a deterioration of the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. Ultraviolet light not only affects the skin by increasing the risk of skin cancer, but it can also be dangerous to the skin around the eyes. In addition, excessive exposure to UV light without proper protection can lead to cataracts.
Do You Need Protection against Blue and UV Lights?
Blue light is emitted by many electronic devices including cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers. Another source of blue light is energy efficient technology in the form of fluorescent light bulbs and LED lights found in most offices and stores, thus putting your eyes at additional risk if unprotected. It’s also important to protect your eyes against UV both indoor and out.
Our eyes are exposed to UV radiation 365 days a year, even on cloudy days. In fact, up to 40% of UV exposure occurs when we aren’t in full sunlight. Since most people are at risk for overexposure to both blue light and UV light on a daily basis, it’s important to talk to Dr. Loewen about lenses that can protect your eyes from harmful blue light and ultraviolet light.
Blue light is another necessary factor when addressing the need for computer glasses. Dr. Loewen explains, “Blue light comes from computer screens, televisions, and smartphones, and has been known to cause eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue. Even more alarming, recent studies also point to growing evidence that blue light exposure has the potential to significantly increase a person's risk of macular degeneration over time.
Fortunately, the last few years have seen significant strides in the blue light blocking technologies that can be widely applied to make computer glasses even more effective at protecting your eyes.” Click here for more about 'The Dangers of Blue Light and What You Can Do'.
Do you regularly experience blurred vision, eyestrain or headaches after being on your computer or smartphone for a while? If so, you may be experiencing a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome. Fortunately, eye doctors have developed a special type of eyeglasses, known as computer glasses, that are made specifically to address the unique needs of those who are on the computer or other electronic devices for extended periods of time each day.
The special glasses removing ultraviolet light or having antireflective coatings will not solve your problems. However, computer and near stress reducing lenses can help reduce strain and improve visual comfort and efficiency.
Computer glasses are likely equipped with specialty lenses, such as BluTech and Crizal Prevencia, that are meant to reduce or eliminate many of the harmful side effects linked to increased time in front of computers and other electronic devices. This is done by selectively filtering out blue light, which improves visual comfort and reduces eyestrain. Simultaneously, these lenses allow non-harmful light to pass through, permitting the clearest vision possible.
Especially, if you are over 40 and your arms aren't as long as they use to be, you may need specially designed glasses to see clearly and comfortably. During your early 40s simple reading glasses will probably work on the computer. As you get older your current reading or standard progressive lenses might not work.
Reading and computer work are often at two different distances, different enough so that simple reading glasses will not keep both distances in focus. Also, traditional progressives have an intermediate area that is too small or low for computer work. You may need a special lens whereby the intermediate area is raised and larger. The best way to determine which lens is actually right for you is have Dr. Loewen evaluate your specific needs:
Single Vision Lenses
Simple single vision lenses are often the answer in the patient just becoming presbyopic or when the computer terminal is at approximately the same distance as the computer terminal. They are easy to use and relatively in-expensive. They have minimal flexibility having only one focal distance.
May be a problem. The segment may be to low and set for 16". There is a range of clear vision with a bifocal and the computer may be too far away.
High Fitting Bifocals
Excellent sedentary glasses. Better for reading, computer work etc.The top of the lens is to watch TV or see people coming in your office. If reading distance and computer viewing distance are at the same distance this design will be effective. However, as you get older and loose more of your focusing and/or the computer and reading distances are different distances, this design may not work. The bifocal must be large and fit high.
Specially Designed Bifocals
Top of the lens is set for the computer and the bottom is set for reading. The bifocal segment should be low. Great compromise over the single vision lens. If made the frame should be on the small side, so that you can slide them down your nose to see at a distance. Disadvantage: noticeable line, no distance vision. Advantage: excellent optics with large field of vision.
Top of the glasses are for distance. Large intermediate area for the computer. "Bifocal segment" in the bottom for reading. These glasses are for working only. Removes the disadvantage of the preceding lens. Disadvantage: line is seen by you and others Advantage: excellent optics, large field of view.
Normal progressive glasses might work on the computer but they have similar problems as traditional bifocal. The reading and intermediate area may not be high enough. More importantly the reading channelis not wide enough and usually too low for your computer. Result: stiff neck.
Computer Progressive Lenses
A progressive design which is biased for near, i.e., reading and computer use. It has a narrowed channel at the top designed to see clearly as far as 15 feet; a large progressive intermediate zone for the computer; and a large area for reading. There are no lines, thus, it is cosmetically acceptable and very functional in an office environment. Best to leave at your desk. Note the traditional progressive has a large distance area and a smaller, lower intermediate and reading area.
In addition, the latest industry solutions to this growing problem exist. Hartsdale Family Eyecare carries BluTech Lenses which are unique lenses specially created to selectively filter out blue light, increasing visual comfort and reducing eyestrain. See here for more about BluTech Lenses.
If you wear bifocals, you may find you have to tip your head back slightly to use the reading portion of the lens. That’s fine for most things, but if you want to sit and read a novel, this head-back posture can cause neck discomfort and fatigue. Often, a pair of single vision reading glasses are a much better solution for prolonged reading and other detailed near vision tasks, such as sewing or needlepoint work.
Did you know that wearing specially-tinted eyeglass lenses can improve your visual acuity on the tennis court, golf course or on the slopes? Sport-specific eyewear can enhance performance by improving visual clarity while protecting your eyes from injury.
Driving glasses come in two different categories: sunglasses designed specifically for driving and clear prescription driving glasses. Many sunglasses made for driving feature polarized lenses to reduce glare and special tints to enhance contrast for safer, more comfortable vision on the road on sunny days. Eyeglasses for night driving should include your distance prescription and anti-reflective (AR) coating to reduce the glare from streetlights and oncoming headlights and allow more light to reach your eyes for better vision on dark roadways.
We even have protective wear for working in the yard or with power tools
We can help!
Nearly everyone can benefit from specialty eyewear. Let us know about all the different things you like to do, and we can tell you about the best special-purpose eyewear to fit your needs.