A few months ago, I saw an Instagram blogger posting about her new glasses that were supposed to protect her eyes from her computer screen. As her long caption ended with #spon, I proceeded to ignore it. But a few weeks later, I noticed the same kind of glasses popping up again and again, and not just on Instagram influencers, but on people I knew in real life. As someone whose job is to be on the computer for the majority of the day almost every day, and someone who already has horrendous eyesight, I started to feel intrigued. Could these glasses actually prevent my eyes from getting worse?
Computer glasses are basically a lens without a prescription, so anyone can wear them, but they aren’t your basic $5 fake glasses lenses. They’re meant to optimize your eyesight when you’re staring at digital screens all day, filtering out blue light to reduce eyestrain. This seems important: According to the American Optometric Association, staring at screens constantly can result in Computer Vision Syndrome. Symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. This is because looking at a digital screen makes your eyes work harder than they would when looking at, say, a printed page. The effects are made worse if you already have vision problems.
But here’s the big question: do they work?
According to Lifehacker, there is no point in getting computer glasses if you don’t already experience vision issues. Dr. Robert Noecker, an ophthalmologist and Director of Glaucoma for Opthalmic Consultants of Connecticut, told the site, “Computer eyewear does not necessarily prevent eye strain in an already optimized environment.” He also points out that they can smudge, which could actually make vision worse.
However, if you do experience eyestrain and your eyes feel tired at the end of the day, these could advantageous. There’s something to think about, though: All About Vision points out that it’s better to get computer glasses customized to your individual needs, and that “using weaker, non-prescription reading glasses for computer work and seeing your digital devices typically won’t provide the accurate vision correction you need for sustained clarity and comfort.”
Keeping all of this in mind, I decided I still had to try a pair, so I went out and procured myself a pair of trendy looking MVMT Rio Everscroll Lens glasses, their new version of computer glasses. At just about $70, they didn’t break the bank. The Everscroll lens claims are anti-reflective, blue light filtering, and claim to provide up to 420nm of UV protection.
My immediate thought about the glasses was that they were very cute. They have a round, tortoise shell frame, and they look nice on my face shape (and there are lots of other styles available as well). They are also super light with a very thin lens, which is a nice change for someone who has to pay hundreds of extra dollars in order to get her prescription glasses to resemble thin.
I started to wear them throughout the day as I worked on the computer, and they certainly weren’t uncomfortable. But were they working? After a week, I still wasn’t sure. The annoying thing about the glasses is that they seem to make everything I look at just a teensy bit darker, which isn’t a huge deal, but seems kind of counterintuitive. They also do smudge easily, probably because they are inexpensive, so that’s frustrating.
Still, at the end of a few weeks, I felt like they might be doing something positive. My eyes didn’t feel as quite as dry and tired at the end of the day when I wore them, and they didn’t leave me with any headaches. On top of that, I find the MVMT selection of glasses (especially the Rio style) to be a lot more stylish than many other computer glasses out there, like Gunnars. The MVMT glasses might not block quite as much blue light, but they have a lower price point, and they just look like glasses... not goggles.
Basically, I absolutely feel that these are worth a try if you think you need something extra protecting your eyes. They’re also really adorable and I get a lot of compliments on them! But knowing what researchers and doctors say about computer glasses, I think it might be more beneficial to spend the extra money and get prescription lens made with a protective coating more customized to what your eyes really need. If you’re looking for a more inexpensive solution, however, test these out - they just might get the job done.