Workday Eyewear: Should You Get Computer Progressive Lenses?

If you’re a weekday warrior — building that budget spreadsheet, writing that marketing doc, or sending out that fourth follow-up email — then prepare for your next power move. And no, we’re not talking about landing a promotion. (We’re sure you’ve got that handled without any help from us.) We’re talking about the power of your progressive lenses.

If you wear progressive glasses (or your eye doctor thinks you should), then your lenses will offer multiple power levels to help you see at different distances, depending on which part of the lens you look through. Look through the bottom of the lens and you’ll see close up. Look through the top of the lens and you’ll see far away.

But, when you spend all day doing computer work, you might not need all of those different power levels. And reducing the number of power levels on your multifocal lenses could help reduce eye strain and even neck strain during computer use. To get these benefits, all you need to do is add a second pair of prescription glasses to your eyewear wardrobe — a pair of computer progressive lenses that you’ll wear during your workday.

Here’s how computer progressive lenses work, how they compare to a standard pair of progressives, and how to get a prescription for computer progressive eyeglasses if you decide they’re right for you.

What Are Progressive Lenses?

Computer progressive lenses: man happily wearing Pair Eyewear’s glasses

If you’re not only new to the concept of computer progressive lenses, but are new to progressive lenses in general, here’s a quick overview of how they work.

Progressive lenses are multifocal lenses. They correct your near vision and your distance vision at the same time with a single lens. Unlike other multifocal lenses — like bifocal lenses and trifocal lenses — progressives have no line across the middle of the lens. So you can see clearly, and people can see your beautiful face clearly.

Usually people who already wore single-vision lenses to see at a distance will need to switch to progressive lenses as they get older and start to experience presbyopia. (That’s a fancy way of saying that their close-up vision gets worse and they start to need reading glasses as they age.) Presbyopia affects almost all of us at some point in our lives. However, sometimes younger people will also need progressive glasses if they have astigmatism.

Progressive glasses have a special lens design that gradually transitions from one focal length to another as you move your eyes up the lens. The bottom part of the lens corrects your near vision so you can read books and documents, the middle part of the lens corrects your intermediate vision so you can see the computer screen or a whiteboard, and the top part of the lens corrects your distance vision so you can drive or play sports.

It can take a little longer to get used to progressive lenses than it does to get used to other pairs of new glasses. But once you’ve adjusted, you’ll have clear vision at any distance.

Computer Progressive Lenses vs. All-Purpose Progressive Lenses

Computer progressive lenses: Pair Eyewear’s eyeglasses on a pink background

The downside of progressive lenses is that you have to look through a specific section of the lens to see at your desired distance. When the lens is correcting three focal lengths at one time, each section of the lens will be relatively small. (Although, choosing a pair of glasses with a big frame style can help.)

Most progressive wearers get used to looking through the correct part of the lens within a few weeks. And their all-purpose progressive glasses become comfortable for the majority of their daily tasks.

However, if you spend hours in front of a computer screen while wearing all-purpose progressive lenses, you may have to hold your head at an unnatural angle in order to look through the small section of your progressive lens that allows for comfortable computer vision. This can strain your neck, leading to tech neck, shoulder pain, and potentially, headaches.

Wearing a pair of computer progressive lenses while you work, instead of your all-purpose progressive lenses, could help prevent this issue. A pair of computer progressive lenses only corrects your near vision and your intermediate vision.

Because the lenses correct fewer fields of vision, a much larger part of your lens will be dedicated to helping you see at an intermediate distance, which also happens to be the computer distance. Being able to look through a larger portion of your lens means you don’t have to move your head as much to see your screen, which means you can maintain a more natural and ergonomic position while you work.

Essentially, these glasses could be the final piece of the puzzle for creating a comfortable and ergonomic workspace. But, because they don’t correct your distance vision, you should never wear them while you’re driving. Think of computer progressive glasses as your office lenses and all-purpose progressive glasses as your out-of-office lenses.

Computer Progressive Lenses vs. Regular Computer Glasses

Pair Eyewear’s eyeglasses on a yellow background

Computer progressive lenses are the best option for people who do a lot of computer work and wear progressive glasses. But you shouldn’t confuse them with regular computer glasses.

Regular computer glasses typically have a blue-light-filtering and anti-reflective coating. This coating helps ease eye strain. But regular computer glasses can come with all types of prescription lenses from non-prescription to single-vision to progressives.

If you add blue-light filtering to your all-purpose progressive lenses it will help reduce eye strain, but it won’t help reduce the neck strain we described above. For that, you need to get a separate prescription for computer progressive lenses that only corrects your near and intermediate vision — not your distance vision like your all-purpose progressive lenses.

How Can You Get Computer Progressive Lenses?

Woman holding her eyeglasses

To get a prescription for computer progressive lenses, talk to your optometrist. Your optometrist will want to know about the struggles you’re having when you use a computer with your all-purpose progressive lenses.

Your doctor may also ask you questions about how far you sit from your computer screen and what non-computer tasks you do during your workday. The more specifics you can give the better.

Take note of the farthest distance you need to see during your workday so your doctor can make sure the intermediate distance of your lenses will be strong enough to help you accomplish all of your tasks.

If you occasionally have to do a task that you need greater distance vision for, like driving or attending a large convention, you may have to switch to your all-purpose progressive glasses for that task and switch back to your computer glasses when you go back to computer work.

Once your doctor has figured out the ideal progressive lens prescription for your computer use, you’ll be ready to order new glasses. But remember, your computer progressive lenses shouldn’t be your only pair of glasses. You’ll also need an all-purpose pair that corrects your distance vision for when you drive or perform similar tasks.

From Work to Weekend

Woman holding 2 pairs of eyeglasses

At Pair Eyewear, we believe your glasses should match your day — and your mood that day. Each of us is constantly changing. And during your average weekday, you might change from a desk work diva to the hero of happy hour to the queen or king of your couch. And all of those versions of you have their own eye care needs and eyewear styles.

So, expand your eyewear wardrobe by adding a pair of glasses with computer progressive lenses to complement your all-purpose progressives. Then, update your style anytime you want with Pair Eyewear.

Our snap-on Top Frames come in a variety of colors and patterns. They attach to our Men’s and Women’s Eyeglasses to completely change the look of your glasses anytime you change your mood or your mind. So, you can create hundreds of different looks from your two pairs of progressive glasses.

All Pair Eyewear frames are available with progressive lenses, blue-light filtering, and an anti-reflective coating. Find your style today!