Background: Computer workers with presbyopia are at greater risk for the development of symptoms with a conventional prescription vs. a computer prescription because general-wear multi-focal corrections often do not provide adequate correction for the viewing distances and angles needed at the computer workstation. "Computer glasses," as defined by the American Optometric Association, are specifically designed for the computer workplace and have a different lens design or prescription than general-wear glasses. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of computer glasses in reduction of symptoms of presbyopic computer users.
Methods: Subjects were 26 symptomatic presbyopic computer users who had had an eye examination within the past year and had 20/20 vision at distance and near with habitual glasses. Two interventions in planned alternating order were tested for 3 weeks each on all subjects. One intervention was computer glasses. The comparison intervention was an ergonomic self-assessment tool (ESAT) with their habitual Rx. Symptoms were assessed before and after each intervention. A post-comparative questionnaire asked subjects to reflect on the relative efficacy and ease of use of the two interventions.
Results: The computer glasses were significantly more effective at reducing the frequency and severity (p < 0.008) of the symptoms than the ESAT, and 24 of 26 subjects judged the computer glasses to bemore effective. Subjects attributed 80.7% of symptom reduction to the computer glasses and 19.3% to the ESAT. Although the ESAT was judged effective, it was not as effective as the computer glasses.
Conclusion: Computer glasses have been shown to be effective in reduction of vision-related symptoms of computer users.