At the end of the working day in the office, our eyes can become irritated and experience a feeling of heaviness and eyestrain, as well as slightly blurred vision. As Cristina, an IMO patient, explains “at the end of the day, I had difficulty seeing the words on the computer screen, even with my reading glasses on. This used to make me feel tired and even gave me headaches”. The reason is that optical correction for presbyopia or tired eyes is not designed for reading at near to intermediate distances, which is what we use when working with a computer. Our current lifestyles and routines involve spending many hours in front of computers, not to mention tablets and smartphones, so, in order to maintain concentration and performance, it is important to ensure visual comfort at a distance of between 0.5 and 1.5 metres. For this, a good option could be occupational glasses which, according to Claudia Garrido, from the Optometry and Refraction Department of IMO, “are particularly suitable for people with tired eyes who extensively use technological devices”.
What do occupational lenses consist of?
“While the lower section of the glass in progressive lenses is graduated for near vision (40 cm) and the upper section for distance, occupational lenses feature an upper part graduated for intermediate distances (1-1.5 m), which meets the specific visual needs of many jobs”, explains Claudia Garrido. As the optometrist adds, “as the difference between the correction of the upper and lower glass is less, the side margins in which the patient cannot see clearly are smaller and the transition between graduations is less abrupt. As a result, adaptation to the glasses is usually faster”.
These blurred side areas are one of the main limitations of progressive lenses, with which the patient has to learn to see, although new designs and materials allow them to be reduced and, in the case of custom lenses, place them in less used areas of the visual field.
Individualised adaptation for greater comfort
The improvements and increasingly greater possibilities offered by lenses to correct refractive errors contribute greatly to carrying out everyday tasks accurately and effectively. And the benefits are not only visual because appropriate optical correction can also prevent, for example, poor posture: “prior to occupational lenses, people would wear reading glasses and need to get very close to the computer screen or, in the case of progressive lenses, had to raise their heads to see through the lower section”. According to the optometrist, “the key point is not only determining the optical power of the lenses according to the number of dioptres, but finding the right model to meet the needs of each patient”, which requires a comprehensive assessment and individualised advice by a trusted optometrist.