By Karen Haywood Queen
IF YOU’RE OVER 45, wear glasses and
work at a computer for hours every day,
computer glasses may be an appropriate
vision solution. Computer glasses can help
you see clearly in the intermediate range and
eliminate both eyestrain and neck pain, says
ophthalmologist Samuel N. Garrett.
“A desktop monitor is positioned so
that, with your head level, you are looking
through the distance portion of your pro-
gressive, bifocal or trifocal glasses,” says
Garrett, of Virginia Beach Eye Center in
Virginia Beach, Virginia, and a Costco
member. “To see the computer through the
intermediate portion, you have to tilt your
head up, which often produces neck pain.
But if you keep your head level and look
straight through the distance portion, your
monitor will likely be blurry and you can
get eye strain.”
Progressive lenses and trifocals cover
distance, intermediate and close vision, but
the intermediate, computer portion of the
lenses usually is fairly small, Garrett says.
That can be an issue for prolonged com-
puter work, he adds. Bifocals usually include
distance and near vision with no intermedi-
ate vision at all.
By contrast, computer glasses use single-vision lenses optimized for seeing clearly at
your computer monitor without neck strain,
Garrett says. For most
people, computer distance is about arm’s
length, but you can
measure it and let
your eye doctor know
at your next appointment, he notes.
To get the right glasses, “talk to your
optician about what you do,” Garrett says. “A
laptop is different from a desktop. An iPad is
different from the position you hold a book.”
Although single-vision computer
glasses are maximized for the best vision at
your computer screen, with the correct
kind of progressive office computer glasses
you can see past that distance, says Jennifer
Culpepper, manager of the Costco Optical
Center in Newport News, Virginia. “If
somebody walks into the room, you can
see them—compared to wearing readers,
when everything looks blurry past a few
inches,” she says.
Culpepper has heard only good feed-
back from people who bought computer
glasses. “One lady who works from home on
her computer was having trouble getting
used to progressive lenses,” Culpepper says.
“She could not find the right point to see
everything clearly. She had to move her head
up and down. We switched her to computer
glasses, and she says they’re perfect.”
Good candidates for computer glasses
include call center employees, accoun-
tants and anyone who works at least two
hours a day on a computer, Garrett and
Culpepper say. Musicians, especially those
who don’t have to look up to follow a con-
ductor, also are good candidates.
“Let’s say somebody works in the call
center at an insurance firm,” Garrett says.
“The only thing they’re looking at is a com-
puter screen. They’re not looking at papers.
They can have a single pair of intermediate
glasses and leave them at the computer.”
When it’s time for a coffee break or to
drive home, people
should switch to dis-
tance glasses or pro-
gressives, he says.
he adds, “having the
correct glasses for
your computer work
can make the difference between being
completely exhausted at the end of the day
versus staying refreshed and ready to enjoy
your time off.” C
Karen Haywood Queen switched to computer glasses in 2013 and never looked back.
The Costco Connection
Costco Optical Centers offer progressive office computer glasses with a
wider intermediate area for computer
or office work.
head, neck and shoulders every three months,
says Rosenberg. The treatment, approved by
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is
typically covered by insurance and Medicare,
Some migraine sufferers find relief via a
medical device called Cefaly, worn like a pair
of glasses. It’s an external nerve stimulator,
with an adhesive electrode applied directly to
the forehead 20 minutes a day, says Rosenberg.
It was approved by the FDA in March and is
available for sale in Canada (and available
through Costco there).
To help prevent headaches, Rosenberg
suggests catching more sleep, getting regular
exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.
Some vitamins and minerals, such as up to
400 mg of B2 a day and up to 400 mg of magnesium once or twice a day, have been shown
to be effective. Most of the preventive prescription medications are often used for
other medical purposes as well. The majority
are blood pressure drugs, antidepressants or
epilepsy medications, he adds.
Taking notes about your lifestyle and diet
may help identify what could be causing your
headaches, and working with your primary
care provider or neurologist to find the best
approach is critical, says Loder. Headache
triggers can include changes in sleep habits,
hormones, weather and temperature, schedule, alcohol and hunger.
“Don’t give up hope,” says Loder. “Seek
Barbara Bronson Gray (bbgray@sbcglobal.
net) is a freelance writer based in California
who specializes in topics related to health.
The American Headache Society
( www.AmericanHeadacheSociety.org) offers
news, feature articles, information, podcasts
and other resources.
The American Migraine Foundation
resources-and-links) provides resources
and links to related organizations, migraine
treatment guidelines and information about
public awareness programs.
The Johns Hopkins Headache Center
one of many headache centers across the
U.S., provides a staff of neurologists, otolaryngologists (ear, nose, throat), gynecologists,
nurse practitioners, nutritionists and physical
therapists who collaborate as a team.
30 The Costco Connection JUNE 2014
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