It might seem extravagant to have more than one pair of glasses, but there is logic in having multiple pairs, and it has everything to do with supporting vision rather than aesthetics, especially during lockdown. People are spending significantly more time on digital devices as they work, study and learn from home. Prolonged use of digital screens and devices calls for a speciality pair of indoor glasses, as general-purpose, progressive lenses may not adequately support eyes when working on computers and digital devices.
Increased screen time translates into increased exposure to blue light which is harmful to the eyes. The uncomfortable symptoms of overexposure include dry, red, itchy and sore eyes; eyes that are sensitive to light; poor night vision; reduced concentration; fatigue, and vision fluctuation, which is when eyes are unable to relax when looking at something up close.
“If you spend vast amounts of time staring at a computer screen, your general-use, progressive lenses will not be able to deliver the support you need. If you experience blurred vision or experience any discomfort when using your general-purpose glasses, chat to your optometrist about it. It might be time to invest in a spare pair of speciality glasses,” says Ruahan Naude, a specialist in the Optometry industry for over 20 years and the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Dynamic Vision South Africa.
He explains that progressive lenses, also known as multifocals, cater for three fields of vision to support the eyes. These fields are near, intermediate, and far distances. However, you might need an additional pair of indoor glasses for the intermediate field.
“Multifocals are made to deliver the widest field of clear vision. They are great go-to glasses, especially when you look at things in the distance. At a near distance, such as when you read a book, the visual field can become slightly distorted and even more so for intermediate ranges. Your computer, ideally set about 50 centimetres away from your eyes, generally falls into this area and you might find your vision becoming distorted when you look at your screen.
Indoor lenses, also known as variable focus lenses, are dedicated to long hours of screen time and are perfect for keeping on your desk as a second pair of glasses. These lenses are designed to help the eyes relax when focusing between a PC screen and a phone screen. They also provide a much wider and clearer field of view in the intermediate zone.
“Regardless of your age or whether or not you have a pair of prescription lenses, you will benefit from a pair of indoor glasses if you are spending more than three hours a day staring at a screen. This includes young people under the age of 20 who are spending more time doing their school work on digital devices and playing games on their smartphones.”
Naude points out that indoor lens technology has evolved considerably, and it is now possible to choose a lens that is ideal for individual vision needs.
For optimal comfort, he recommends that computer lenses should have an anti-reflection coating and blue light protection.
He concludes: “Different lenses are designed for different purposes. Indeed, you want an everyday pair of glasses that address most of your needs. After an eye test, your optometrist will prescribe the most appropriate pair for general use. However, if you use multifocals, it is highly beneficial to have a separate pair of indoor glasses.
“It is important to consider your lifestyle when deciding on which glasses, and how many pairs you will need. Speak to your eye doctor, who will recommend the best lenses for your visual needs.”