How to Find Low-Cost Computer Glasses
Wearing computer glasses is one of the best things you can do to relieve eye strain while using a computer.Standard bifocals and progressive lenses are typically not as useful for relieving computer eye strain. Progressive lenses may have an area of the lens that works well with the computer, but it is a very small area and may not be as comfortable as computer glasses.
Single vision computer glasses are an excellent way to go and 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).
The best way to obtain a prescription for computer glasses is from your eye doctor or optometrist. Ask him/her for a written computer eyeglass Rx during your regular eye exam.
Or 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.
If for some reason that is not feasible or too expensive, here are some alternatives.
If you already have a written Rx for distance vision lenses, calculate an Rx for computer lenses using your regular distance eyeglasses prescription as follows.
Single vision computer glasses – Split the Add number in half, and combine that split number with the Sph. Discard the remaining Add, and leave the Add data entry field blank. Enter the Cyl and Axis values for both eyes. These values are not changed in any way. Use the distance PD.
If you do not know your distance vision Rx but wear prescription glasses that are not computer glasses, take them 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 the method above to calculate the Rx for computer lenses.
Once you have an Rx for computer glasses, you can then order computer glasses online from a discount provider like Zenni Optical made to your Rx for as little as $6.95 or less including lenses and frame.
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.
If those options are not available to you, then (as a last resort) use this simple but very basic method. 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 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.