Computer Glasses vs. Reading Glasses: What’s the Difference?

Struggling to see clearly can have you looking for a solution quickly. You want to get back to normal, whether you’re dealing with irritation from digital screens or difficulty seeing finer details up close. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions to help, regardless of your situation.reading glasses vs computer glasses

The difference between computer glasses and reading glasses is in how they aid your vision. Computer glasses can help block blue light from digital screens which interfere with sleep and possibly contribute to other eye problems. Reading glasses help you overcome the stiffening of the lens of your eye, making it easier to see finer details up close.

Computer Glasses

Many people who work with computers report increased headaches, tired eyes, and trouble sleeping. Throw smartphone screens into the mix (often at the same time) and you have a recipe for seriously irritated eyes. This is known as digital eye strain and it affects over 50% of Americans, regardless of age. 

One solution is computer glasses, also known as blue light glasses. These futuristic lenses help to block the blue light emitted by digital screens and protect your vision. As glare is reduced, so may the symptoms of digital eye strain. This can be especially helpful as more and more people continue working from home.

What are computer glasses?

Computer glasses work by filtering out the blue light radiated by the screens of your digital devices. This is thanks to a special coating on the lens that blocks blue light from ever reaching your eyes. 

Blue light won’t result in serious vision problems if left untreated. However, it can cause serious discomfort, such as eyes that feel:

  • Tired
  • Sore
  • Dry

Sufferers also report increased neck and shoulder pain, as well as blurred vision.

While you don’t have to worry about long-term vision problems, you may worry about productivity. Even mild digital eye strain can result in decreased accuracy which only gets worse as the day progresses. Your eyes will only become more strained and fatigued, resulting in increased physical strain on your eyes. 

That’s not to mention the mental and emotional stress it can cause. Productivity can be the difference between getting a raise or not. Experiencing diminished productivity and accuracy on the job, or even feeling like you are, can affect you mentally and emotionally. That’s why some companies are adding blue light computer glasses as part of their employee dress code.

Do computer glasses work?

This is the big question. Due to being so new, there hasn’t been a lot of time to thoroughly research their effectiveness. With that said, anecdotal evidence has been positive. Glasses for computer use don’t work for everyone. Despite that, they’re only growing in popularity. 

While researchers still need time to figure out if they definitely make a difference, we do know that they don’t harm your vision. And with prices as low as $50 or a pair, you may think they’re worth giving a shot. To read our recent blog post all about computer screen glasses, click here. You can also discuss the possibility of adding a blue light filter coating to your next pair of eyeglasses at your next appointment.

Reading Glasses

You may require special glasses for issues besides blue light. Just like the rest of your body, aging has an effect on your eyesight. The lens begins to lose its flexibility around the age of 40, developing a condition called presbyopia. It’s a normal part of aging that results in difficulty seeing close objects such as fine print. On the upside, your distance vision won’t change.

You’ll need glasses to help you see up close like you used to. A pair of reading glasses should suffice for most people. However, buying a pair of reading glasses at your local drugstore may not be the best choice.

What strength reading glasses do I need?

Finding the right strength of reading glasses at a drugstore can be a lot of work. You have to try on multiple pairs to find the one with the lowest strength that works best for you. You also need to test them by holding your phone, book, or magazine far enough away to make sure they do the job correctly. 

Fit is another concern. Drugstore reading glasses are a one-size-fits-all ordeal. That means that they may not fit right even if you find a pair that helps you see better. You may also have a hard time if you have conditions such as:

  • Astigmatism
  • Different prescriptions for each eye
  • Eye spacing that doesn’t conform to mass-produced eyewear

That’s why it’s better to get a comprehensive eye exam to find your perfect pair of reading glasses. At Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical, we can find your perfect prescription while also checking for glaucoma and other eye diseases in the process. We can also ensure that you get the best fit possible so you can read comfortably as well as easily. 

Computer glasses and reading glasses help your vision in different ways. Computer glasses may help with digital eye strain by filtering blue light from digital screens. Reading glasses help you see finer details up close more easily as you get older. To get the most out of both, talk to our team today for your best prescription and fit.

Are you interested in computer or reading glasses? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical has been serving Knoxville since 2009. Dr. Travis Thompson and Dr. Catherine Abbott specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of eye diseases, conditions, and problems and are committed to improving the quality of life in the Knoxville community through enhanced vision. Located at 10904 Spring Bluff Way, you can schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (865) 888-0892.


Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Thompson was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. His family has lived in the Hardin Valley area since 1998, and he graduated from Karns High School in 2004. Dr. Thompson runs Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical alongside his wife, Dr. Catherine Abbott.

Recent Posts

"Dr. Thompson is super professional, and has some of the best 'bedside manner' that I have ever witnessed from any doctor. His staff was very helpful in assisting me with picking out regular frames and sunglasses. I’d happily recommend Dr. Thompson to anyone looking for a eye doctor."
Cody C.