At the end of a long hard day crushing everyone on League of Legends … or uh, working hard for your employer… your eyes can feel a little tired.
If they are red, stinging, or your vision is a little blurry, don’t worry. You’re probably just experiencing eye strain.
On its own this is nothing to be concerned about. It affects 75% of the general population aged 16 or higher.
But that doesn’t mean it's fun to explain to everyone that you haven’t been up to anything nefarious and your eyes really are just tired. Luckily, reading glasses are beneficial both for magnifying text and reducing eye strain so you can game work for longer.
The causes of eye fatigue
What is eye strain?
Eye strain is a vision problem that is caused by a variety of factors. Symptoms of eye strain include:
- 👯 Blurred or cloudy vision
- 🎯 Decreased visual acuity as the day progresses
- 🌵 Burning sensation, dryness and tingling
- 😵 Increased sensitivity to light or glare
- 😭 Tearing
- 🔴 Eye irritation, redness and itching
- 😩 Neck, shoulder or eye contour pain
- 😵 Dizziness
- 🤯 Headaches
There are multiple causes of eye strain
Those experiencing eye strain may find it happens intermittently, is recurrent, or in some cases, more long lasting.
That’s because there is a variety of causes for eye strain. The no.1 culprit? Screens!
Unfortunately, phones, computers, TVs and tablets all produce harmful wavelengths of artificial blue light, leading to digital eye strain.
Eye strain is one of the major short-term side effects of exposure to blue light. It can also interfere with your circadian rhythm which affects your sleep cycle.
Long term, eye strain can also cause some health problems. For example, excessive screen use could potentially impact other eye related diseases, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Proper filtration, such as wearing a pair of anti-blue light reading glasses, can help reduce your chance of eye strain and keep your eyes healthy, longer.
However, it’s not only screens that cause eye strain. Other causes include:
- 🍃 The environment (wind, pollution, smoke, dust...)
- ♨️ Air conditioning and heating
- 🥱 Lack of sleep
- 😱 Stress
- 💡 Poor lighting
- 🖥️ Poor working position
- 🤧 Allergies
- 👀 Poor optical equipment or uncorrected vision problems
- 🧓 Age
When should you wear reading glasses?
If you’re struggling with small text or suffering from tired eyes, it’s a good idea to get those reading glasses out! In fact, if you’re particularly savvy, you’ll have them on before your eyes get tired in the first place.
What are reading glasses and what are they for
Reading glasses are designed to help magnify small text, and rest tired eyes. There are different types of reading glasses depending on your desired goal, but any pair will help reduce eye fatigue.
Unlike prescription glasses, the magnification on reading glasses is much lower, with a usual power level of between +0.25 diopters to +2.50. Some glasses will offer a higher strength of up to +4.00, but this is much rarer.
Reading glasses don’t correct visual defects, but are instead designed to:
- Make it easier for those with farsightedness to adjust to different text sizes and focus levels of nearby objects. This allows you to read small print and look at screens without straining your eyes.
- Reduce the sensation of glare if the lenses have an additional anti-reflective coating. Quicker adjustments to lighting = less likely to be dazzled.
In essence, they’re not a replacement for a prescription lens and don’t do the same job. The focus of a pair of reading glasses is to lessen discomfort that comes from eye strain by helping your eyes adjust naturally. Meaning you can game, or read on your kindle for longer without fatigue.
When should you wear reading glasses?
There’s no time like the present! Reading glasses are a great help in many everyday situations, such as:
- 🛡 As a preventive measure, when you engage in activities that cause eye strain. That means gaming, working at your computer, watching TV, or using a tablet. Any activity where you can feel your eyes getting tired.
- 📖For extended reading sessions. This isn’t necessarily always on electronic readers, reading glasses are helpful when sitting down with a traditional paper-based book too. Ploughing through Game of Thrones will definitely feel less daunting if you can guarantee you won’t have a headache by the end. Not from your eyes, anyway…
- 🥴If you feel your eyes getting tired. Putting on a pair of reading, or blue light computer glasses, will soothe your irritated eyes… and if it’s too late and you can already feel the pain building, you can also try these tips for resting your eyes.
- 🏠At home in the evening, in low light. If you like the ambience of a dim Alexa bulb and appropriate mood lighting for facing down a pack of clickers, then reading glasses will help your eyes from getting too tired.
Essentially, we recommend reaching for your reading glasses any time you’re doing an activity that has the potential to cause eye strain due to excessive use of your near vision.
Plus, if you get ahead of the problem and wear them before the eye strain even starts, you’ll be that much more effective at preventing visual fatigue.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to wear the glasses all the time. They won’t do you any harm, but they are for specific activities.
⚠️An important note: do not use reading glasses when driving! They are not designed for it and will impair your long-distance vision!
Blue light blocking glasses: the best solution for screens
Reading glasses as a whole are versatile and useful in many situations. When looking at the different types available you may have come across the term blue light glasses.
These are the most effective type of reading glasses for screen use and protect your eyes from both eye strain and the dangers of blue light. So, you’re as scrolling endlessly on your phone as you are crunching sheet data on Excel. You might not be as happy… but that’s another story.
Luckily, we’re blue light experts so we’ve put together our top glasses’ recommendations for you!
Horus X Nomad blue light glasses collection: Designed for screens, appropriate always
Not all blue light blocking glasses are created equal. It’s important to choose the right type for use on screens and at the right filtration levels. Horus X offers the best filtration on the market, for a comfort level that will make you feel as comfortable as Snorlax.
We’ve designed our Nomad collection specifically for on-screen work.
Our workings are simple: Take a timeless design, high quality blue light blocking lenses, add state-of-the-art anti-reflective coating and offer it all at a low price so its accessible to everyone!
Aurélien, our editor, has his Ushuaia Silver on his nose as he rereads this text to expunge any vile spelling mistakes that may have crept in (flog him in the comments if he missed one).
Paul, our co-founder, swears by the Stockholm Tortoise to give himself +10 charisma and cover his eyes while he signs my cheque.
But there's more to life than work! Anti-blue-light glasses are just as useful when you're chilling out in front of Netflix, or wooing Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3.
The Gaming Collection: Ultimate filtration for intensive use
Aside from office workers, there’s one other group of people who spend more time in front of screens than anyone else: gamers.
In addition to the clear lenses of the Nomad range, Horus X designed a gaming collection with amber lenses for maximum filtration.
These are ultra-efficient to use in the evening or in all-day gaming sessions. They filter harmful artificial blue light effectively, improve contrast and offer every gamer comfort for campaigning well into the night.
Horus X’s tips for preserving your eyesight
Glasses are a great preventative measure, but there are other steps in the journey to preventing eye fatigue.
There are some health habits you can adopt, and additional work you can do:
- 🧘Take regular breaks: If you spend your day in front of screens, it’s important to give your eyes respite from them. Try to employ the 20-20-20 rule throughout your day. That’s taking a 20 second break looking at something at least 20 meters away, every 20 minutes.
- 🤸Exercise: Your eyes need the same workout as the rest of you. Well… not quite the same, we’re not expecting your eyeballs to get into weight training. But they do have their own little exercises you can employ. Remember to blink regularly, and take breaks for an eye massage every once in a while.
- 💧 Remember to stay well hydrated: Drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day to keep your body and eyes hydrated. If you struggle with this, keep a water bottle on your desk so you can track how much you’ve drank, and feel like you’re on Love Island at the same time.
- 🥗 Adopt a balanced diet: Certain foods are great for eye health. Look for items that are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and/or omega 3.
- 🚭Reduce your alcohol and tobacco intake: There may be nothing better than a cigarette and a glass of wine after a long day, but regular consumption can actually lead to long term eye health issues. So, cut back where you can.
- 💤Get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping is the most effective way to rest your eyes. But blue light can still disrupt this, slowing the production of melatonin and making it harder to sleep. That’s why we recommend turning off all screens at least an hour and a half before bed.
- 📴Cut back on your screen time: Fortnite will still be waiting for you when you return, and your eyes will thank you for the break. It may be easier said than done, but this is probably the most effective advice of all.
- 🔅Consider your ambient lighting before you start gaming. Those LED strip lights may look really cool, but are they the best thing for your eyes? Consider the lighting that causes the least strain and look at things such as the font size and brightness of your device.
- 🕶️ Wear sunglasses: the eyes are a highly sensitive organ, exposed to a wide range of external aggressors (sunlight, dust, wind, pollution, smoke...). So don't hesitate to protect them by wearing sunglasses whenever you're out and about.
- 🧑⚕️ Don't forget to visit your ophthalmologist (eye doctor) once a year for a complete eye exam: there's nothing like going to a specialist to assure you everything is fine!
When should I wear reading glasses? Final thoughts
Even though they have many applications and are useful a lot of the time, you don’t have to always wear a pair of reading glasses.
They’re useful for looking at things up close, during long reading sessions, when protecting your eyes against screens, and for precision work that can strain the eyes.
Don’t forget to consider which model is most appropriate for you, like anti-blue light glasses for gamers and office workers.
Basically, take care of your eyes… you only have one set!