Computers and your eyes – explaining the jargon
Glare can affect eyesight in various ways.
- Distracting glare can be caused by light being reflected off the front surface of spectacle lenses. Similarly, it may be from light reflected off the back surface (ie the inner side) of the lenses, so that the spectacle wearer sees the distracting reflection of their own eyes and objects behind them when looking forward. This kind of glare may cause eye fatigue, annoyance and distraction.
- Discomforting glare can be caused by normal light conditions, regardless of weather or time of day. It can be present when moving from one lighting condition to another and may cause ‘squinting’ and eye fatigue.
- Disabling glare comes from excessive, intense light that can occur when facing the sun, of from light reflected off smooth, shiny surfaces. Disabling glare can block vision because the intense light can cause significantly reduced contrast of the retinal image.
To diminish the effects of blinding or reflected glare it is strongly advisable to wear polarising filter lenses to counteract the reflected light. Polarised lenses reduce the amount of light passing through the lens by selective filtering.
An anti-reflection coating on your spectacle lenses means that more of the light reaches your eye and less bounces off the lens. This can make your vision feel clearer, and it makes the lenses less visible, so others can see your eyes better.
- Dispensing optician
A dispensing optician advises on, fits and supplies the most appropriate spectacles after taking account of each patient’s visual, lifestyle and vocational needs. Dispensing opticians also play an important role in advising and dispensing low vision aids to those who are partially sighted as well as advising on and dispensing to children where appropriate. They are also able to fit and provide aftercare for contact lenses after undergoing further specialist training. Career opportunities also exist to develop business skills in marketing and practice management, or go on to become an optometrist. Look out for the qualification FBDO
- Office lens
Office lenses are tailored to your specific needs and allow for a relaxed posture when working at a desk. These lenses offer very large fields of vision from near to intermediate distances. This lets you see and work at your best in precisely the range of vision your job requires.
- Eye test
An eye test is a vital health check for your eyes. Every adult needs an eye test every two years, and some people may be advised to have a test more often.
During the eye test the optometrist checks if you need glasses, but they do much more than that too. When you have your eyes examined, the optometrist checks for eye diseases like glaucoma that you might not be aware that you are developing. They can also see signs of conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes when they check the eye. Many of these conditions are treatable, but it is best to get them detected before they start causing problems.
An eye test can save your sight, and help you stay healthy too.
- Screen position
It’s important to ensure your computer screen is positioned correctly. Adjust your screen and desk position if you get glare from lights or window reflections to avoid eyestrain.
Varifocal lenses allow you to see at distance, intermediate and near, all in one lens. They don’t have a line like bifocal lenses, and are good if you want to look at different distances without changing your specs. There are specific types of varifocal lenses that work well for computer use and office jobs.
- Single vision lens
A single vision lens is focused for distance or near vision. You can get single vision lenses specifically for computer use.