View Full Version : Best Glasses for Computer Work if you need Distance AND Reading Lenses

D.L. Shepherd
06-08-2018, 03:52 PM
Not sure if this is the correct forum for this, (this is research for myself, not for my WIP), but I thought I'd start here.

For any of you who stare at your screen a good majority of the day and read paperwork at the same time and wear corrective glasses (not contacts) for reading AND distance, what type do you use?

Standard Progressives (reading on the bottom, small intermediate area, distance on top)
Office Progressives (reading on the bottom, larger intermediate area in the center, little to no distance -- can't drive with them on)
Standard Bifocals (reading on the bottom, line between, distance on top, no intermediate area)

Besides writing, I do data entry and bookkeeping for two businesses, so I am staring at a screen and/or glancing down at paperwork for a good majority of my day. I used to be fine with just my distance glasses, but now I can no longer read my paperwork through them, it becomes blurry. I went to my eye doctor and got an Rx for Standard Progressives, but when I went to Costco, the clerk talked me into "Office Progressives (https://www.costco.com/optical.html)" (scroll down to the bottom of the link if you are not familiar with them).

I just got them last night, and I am finding the intermediate area to be very blurry, and am looking through the very top, through the distance portion, to see my screen, and have to keep my chin tucked way down to do this. Obviously not a good idea for someone on the computer all day, but the clerk said with the regular progressives I would have to keep my head tilted upwards all day in the opposite position to be able to see the computer screen out of them.

I am going to give them a week to make sure I just don't need to adjust, but by the looks of things (or lack thereof) I think I will be returning them and either getting Standard Progressives or Bifocals. Not sure which would be best, so I wanted to get other people's opinions.

I figure if there is anywhere to find people who are on the computer A LOT, here would be a good start. Thanks for any thoughts!

06-08-2018, 04:32 PM
I have two separate pairs of glasses, but I wear my regular ones for computer use (it's just a little too far away for my reading glasses). FWIW, my opthamologist says that she's found regular computer users often don't care for progressives. Spouse got them for a week and returned them because they drove him nuts.

Marissa D
06-08-2018, 05:14 PM
I have one pair of glasses to make sure I don't bang into things (nearsightedness and astigmatism), and a different pair for computer use that's just a bit lighter in correction, and it seems to do the trick. My accommodation isn't terrible, but it isn't very good either. I tried progressives once and hated them.

06-08-2018, 05:19 PM
I'm farsighted, work at a computer all day, do needlepoint & watch TV in the evening, and occasionally drive a lot. I have one pair of standard progressives that I wear for everything and I've been very happy with them. (They're also Transitions, so they're my sunglasses too. No, I don't tend to spend a lot of time outside in the bright sun. Sun bad!)

be frank
06-08-2018, 05:32 PM
Where does your computer monitor sit? That is, if you keep your chin level, is the centre of the screen straight ahead, just down, or up?

Progressive lenses/multifocals (either full MF or office style) rely on the centre of your screen being ~ 10-15 deg down. It's also assumed your screen sits somewhere between ~ 50-70cm away from your eyes (about arms' length to most PC monitors). If your screen sits too high or too far back, MF won't work well.

Assuming you ARE set up as expected, it sounds like your specs aren't right. Either the Rx is out, or they've been set up incorrectly (heights, Rx shift, a range of other things). Coz with either kind of MF, you shouldn't have to tilt your head back OR forward if they've been made correctly.

Course, not all lenses are made equal (I have no idea what they're like in the US, but if a patient here told me they were struggling with the specs they got at Costco, I'd be like "Well, yeah?" :) ).

If you do wind up switching to a BF, be aware the traditional setup (top for distance, segment for near) doesn't really work for computer vision. If I have a non-adapter to multifocals who does lots of computer work, we tend to go with a BF where the top is set for monitor and the segment for near (reading notes, keyboard, phone etc), with a looooong discussion that you can't walk around in them or drive in them or see beyond arms' length in them.

TL;DR: If you came to see me, I'd probably prescribe a near progressive too, but only after a long discussion about your work environment and with careful selection of lens style and setup.

be frank: Optometrist. :D

06-08-2018, 07:56 PM
I have progressives for regular wear, and a separate set of computer glasses that I wear at work and when I'm working on the computer at home. They aren't progressives, and their main focus is just on the computer monitor in front of me. So driving/walking around outside in them, on the very rare occasion I forget to switch them out, is problematic.

06-08-2018, 08:53 PM
Regular progressives for pretty much everything; rocking my head a few degrees finds the sharpest sweet spot even on a monitor screen, distance notwithstanding. A tinted set, same Rx, serve as sunglasses; I don't leave the house without them.

06-08-2018, 09:28 PM
I wore regular bifocals for quite a while, and I'm very nearsighted, like -7.5 correction.

I decided I wanted to go back to contacts. The eye doc gave me the option of one lens for near vision and one for distance but pointed out that it's a compromise that doesn't always work for people. Then he suggested setting up for distant vision with the contacts and using a pair of mild corrective glasses for computer work, which is what I've done. So I'm wearing contacts now, and using a pair of 1.5 readers that I got from Walmart for about $6.

One other solution I used when I was playing (flute) regularly for church. I'd gotten tired of the up/down motion when trying to read music, so I got a pair of single-vision glasses in the higher strength. I wored those just for playing. If you have a low-price option for glasses (like Zenni, for one example), that might work for you.

06-08-2018, 10:13 PM
It's not the glasses, it's where your screen is positioned. Put it in your ideal viewing area and be done.


R.A. Lundberg
06-08-2018, 10:14 PM
I wore regular bifocals for quite a while, and I'm very nearsighted, like -7.5 correction.

I decided I wanted to go back to contacts. The eye doc gave me the option of one lens for near vision and one for distance but pointed out that it's a compromise that doesn't always work for people. Then he suggested setting up for distant vision with the contacts and using a pair of mild corrective glasses for computer work, which is what I've done. So I'm wearing contacts now, and using a pair of 1.5 readers that I got from Walmart for about $6.


This is what I do. I have standard contacts for distance and just use the cheap magnifiers from Wally Mart for up close reading at work. At home I go without the contact and just squint for distance :)

06-08-2018, 10:32 PM
I find the computer screen a bit too far away for reading glasses, and my distance or driving glasses don't work for the computer either. I tried the three-phase, blended glasses with medium distance in the middle, reading on the bottom, and driving/distance on top, but each strip was too narrow to be useful. So I haven't been using glasses for the computer.

Unfortunately, my vision is changing and I'm having to dial the font size up on my computer screen (or to move my chair way back). This makes it so things don't always fit properly on the screen, so now I have to consider middle range glasses. I hadn't heard of the office bifocals, but maybe they are something to look at. Still, I hate the having to move eyes around so much to be able to see things clearly. Everyone assures me you get used to it, but I haven't with my regular (distance vs close) bifocals. I can use them, but find them a pain to read with, and they are useless for computer work.

06-08-2018, 11:07 PM
I have my prescription glasses (only needed for reading) and clip-on blue blocker glasses ($30 from Amazon). They block the blue out of screens, clothes, whatever. They allow me to work at the computer for hours on end without getting eye fatigue.

D.L. Shepherd
06-09-2018, 02:57 AM
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. So, as far as distance from my computer, while I didn't actually measure, I have now tried them at home on my desktop, which sits straight across from me and is pretty close to me, probably about 1/2 to an arms length away, and also at my work computer, which is a small laptop that sits quite a distance away from me. I have to stretch my arms far to reach it, and it is slightly higher than my desktop at home. I can't move it closer to me or take it off its stand, or I won't have room for my papers in front of it.

I also tried the glasses with my own laptop, which has a much bigger screen than my work one. I tried that one on two different surfaces. My desk, which for the laptop makes it slightly lower than my line of sight, and less than an arm's length away, and also on my kitchen table, which is much lower than my line of sight, but I can move it as close to me or as far as I like. I tried more than one distance at the table.

I tried tilting both the work and home laptop screens towards me and away, and I had the same results with every computer so far. I find I need to peer out of the very top part of the glasses, the area with the tiny bit of my distance Rx in them, in order to read the screen without it blurring. Which means, when the laptop is lower than my head, it is a really severe tilt for me. If I look anywhere through that wide intermediate area in the center, the screen is blurry.

The only good thing is that I noticed while *trying* to use them at work today, it was nice to be able to read my paperwork right in front of me without having to take my distance glasses off, so I'm thinking maybe I'd be better off with regular progressives, which have a larger distance lens to them, and maybe the problem is that the intermediate area is just not right for me?

I never had a problem seeing my computer with my distance glasses, the problem was now that I'm in my mid-forties (yikes!), I can no longer focus through the distance lenses to read paperwork. When you do a lot of data entry you really need to be able to see the screen and the papers without taking your glasses on and off all day. I enter a lot of numbers and I look back and forth between the paper and the screen every other second or so.

Thanks again for everyone's input. I am going back to Costco tomorrow to see what they can do for me. I originally went in for regular progressives, which is what my doctor told me to get, and I let the Costco optician talk me into these things instead. That is probably my big mistake right there.

06-09-2018, 04:27 AM
I strongly recommend consulting a qualified professional.

D.L. Shepherd
06-09-2018, 03:59 PM
I strongly recommend consulting a qualified professional.

Thanks. I did initially...I went to my ophthalmologists office and they had told me to get the regular progressives and gave me the Rx for the same. It was when I went to purchase the glasses that I went wrong, and I was just looking to see other people's experiences with the different types of glasses available before I make yet another purchase.

06-10-2018, 12:08 AM
Right, but this forum is for finding help for researching your writing. If you want to ask about your health, this is not the right place.

D.L. Shepherd
06-10-2018, 03:28 PM
Okay, thanks.

06-10-2018, 03:57 PM
Even though this is not the correct forum, I'd like to add my experience.

I have three pairs of glasses -- distance, reading, and computer/household. For the distance, I wear frames that allow me to look under the frame to read a label or price tag, which I can do with one eye. I've had cataract surgery and therefore have a limited range for seeing with a particular lens. I have a different correction in each eye, so I can do a wider variety of activities without my glasses, but only for a short time since I need the glasses for the astigmatism. I have neck problems, so I didn't want progressive lenses or anything that would require a particular head position.

Many places, including Costco sometimes, offer deals on the second pair of glasses.

AW Admin
06-10-2018, 04:20 PM
Go back to your ophthalmologists and explain your issue as you did here.