Wearing computer glasses is an excellent way to reduce eye strain while using a computer.

Key Points About Computer Glasses:

  • Single vision lenses are usually the most comfortable choice for daily computer use.without computer glasses
  • Progressive lenses have an area of the lens that works well with the computer, but it is typically a very small area and therefore usually is not as comfortable for daily computer use.
  • Single vision computer glasses are also the least expensive.  You may have to swap between eyeglasses during the day, but it is worth the trouble.
  • It is preferable to have a written Rx for computer glasses from your vision specialist.
  • Important – Make certain your vision Rx includes the pupillary distance (PD).

Here’s how to obtain your single-vision RX for computer glasses:

Method 1 - The best way to obtain an RX for computer glasses is...
from your eye doctor or optometrist. Ask him/her for a written single-vision computer eyeglass Rx during your regular eye exam.

Method 2 - Measure exactly how far your computer screen is from your eyes,
call your eye doctor or optometrist and give him that distance. He can then write a prescription for computer glasses.

Method 3 - If you already have a written vision RX for distance lenses,
Calculate an Rx for computer lenses using your regular distance eyeglasses prescription as follows:

(OD = right eye / OS = left eye / SPH means sphere / CYL means cylinder / PD means pupillary distance)

Example Before:


OD: -1.50– 0.25 x 165
OS: -1.00 DS
ADD: + 2.00 OU
PD 64/62

1) Split the Add number in half. (In our example, +2/2 = 1)
2) Combine that split number with the Sph. (In our example for OD, -1.5 +1 = -.50. OS = -1+1 = 0 or Plano.)
3) Discard the remaining Add, and leave the Add data entry field blank.
4) Enter the Cyl and Axis values for both eyes. These values are not changed in any way.
5) Use the distance PD. 
Example After:
OD: -0.50 -0.25 x 165
OS: Plano DS   (Note: Plano means no correction.)
PD 64mm
If you are unclear about doing this, ask an optical store for help or do not use this method.

Method 4 - If you wear prescription lenses that are not computer glasses -
Take your distance glasses to an optical store and ask them to check the lenses and write down the Rx for them. Most optical shops have a machine that can read the Rx from your lenses. Then use Method 3 above to calculate the Rx for computer lenses.

Method 5 - This is the easiest and least expensive way to obtain computer glasses -
(Although not as precise as an actual vision RX.) Measure how far the computer screen is from your eyes. Then go to a local pharmacy, drugstore, Walgreen’s, WalMart, Costco, Sam’s Club, etc. Such stores typically have a display of several different reading glasses of varied strengths.

Try on a few pairs of reading glasses at the pharmacy display. If you measured your computer screen to be approximately 21 inches from where you sit, which is the general distance of most computers, then this is also the approximate length of your arm. Stand an arms length away from the reading chart provided by the glasses display and see if you can read print the approximate size of the text on your computer screen.

Fine-tune your computer glasses strength by trying different glasses. If you feel one is not quite right, try going up or down with the power of the glasses by a quarter step (+/- 0.25) to see if you can find that perfect balance.

Once you have an Rx for computer glasses, you can then order computer glasses online from an online discount provider.

If cost is not a concern, you can order them at a walk-in retail optical store and the retailer can also help with adjusting the frames for the best fit.  And you can try the frames on before you buy.