If you work an office job, it's highly likely that you get that classic mid-afternoon eye strain. That twitchy, dry and downright sore sensation that screams, "Perhaps you should quit your job and become a gyspy. That way your eyes wouldn't get so fucked up." And it's true, exposure to bright screens all day long is seriously bad for your eyes and as we're the digital generation, it's likely that everyone in the world will be donning thick spectacles and contact lenses by the time their 35.
But as I don't want to actually live out my extreme fantasy of skipping out on society and running for the rural life, I need a more practical solution to solve my personal eyeball woes. Enter: Computer glasses.
I know that some people need prescription glasses for when they're on the computer, or for looking at screens further away in meetings or lecture halls, but I didn't know there were spectacles specifically designed to delay damage to your eyes if you are chained to your computer screen eight plus hours a day.
One Australian brand, Whisky and Stone, is coming to the rescue of tired Aussie eyes and have developed a line of three (shockingly stylish) spectacles that they recommend you wear whenever you're plonked in front of a screen—albeit at work, or slumped in bed watching 47 episodes in a row of Mad Men on Netflix.
But how do computer glasses work?
These specs work to filter out blue light. If you followed up reading through that question with, 'Well what is blue light?', then let us fill you in.
Blue light is the type of light emitted from digital screens, made up of a very short wavelength that produces a high amount of energy. Sunlight is made up of UV and blue light, as part of visible light spectrum, but it's the blue light that causes the most amount of damage as over-exposure to it can cause long-term problems in your retinas.
So, computer glasses, like Whisky and Stone's, filter up to 50 per cent of bad blue light away from your eyes and defect up to 90 per cent of glare—shielding your eyeballs whilst you squirrel away at work.
But do computer glasses work?
On paper this seemed like a genius solution—a quick-fire way to get rid of eye fatigue and screen headaches. But I really wanted to know if we could note any changes to our eyes/life, so I ordered in two pairs of these potentially life-changing specs, and recruited in two brilliant ELLE writers to see if these glasses met up to our growing expectations.
On first look
At ELLE, we unashamedly enjoy looking our very best, so our first test was whether these glasses actually looked good—because, if they didn't, we knew that they would remain shoved in our desk drawer and forgotten about forever.
However, these pairs were adorable. Both the tortoise shell and the on-trend clear frames were subtle and stylish, and seem to go very well with any/all of our outfits. They're also not too hefty, so it doesn't feel like you're wearing thick-glass specs that magnify your eye balls to bug-level.
Both Natasha Harding (Digital Fashion Writer) and Jessica Chandra (Digital News & Entertainment Editor) claimed, "While the designs are on-trend, my favourite feature of the glasses is that they're so lightweight you forget you're wearing them," and "They're a cute, simple style that work for everyday wear." Tick.
Road-testing the computer glasses
I had committed to a week of full-time wear, to properly test out these specs, and so started on Monday morning switching on my computer and popping on my glasses. Despite a few odd stares from colleagues who had assumed my eyes must have drastically degenerated over the weekend, I mainly received compliments about the glasses, with my managing editor exclaiming, "You look like you're going to sell me something expensive today, Stow!"
At first I didn't notice much about my eyes with the glasses on, versus my eyes without them—and if you look through them, there's not any drastic changes. I think I was expecting the screen to look like it does when I wear polarised sunnies, you know, that weird psychedelic-looking rainbow light. But instead it was just my normal screen—no brighter, no different.
However, by the afternoon I had noticed that I hadn't looked out of the window, or craved heading outside for a break from my classic on-the-dot 3pm headache. Had the glasses prevented my mild migraine? I think they may have.
Natasha had a similar situation, but she often experiences pain in her eye, that also seemed to disappear when using the glasses.
Though my experience wasn't as instantaneously epic, my penny-drop moment occurred over the Christmas break when I was working from home and foolishly left my specs in the office. My headaches had returned to their full-strength shittiness by day two, and my eyes felt scratchy and were way more prone to twitching of their own accord. I wasn't totally sold on the glasses before, but during this stint I was missing them quite a bit.
Would we recommend computer glasses?
Jessica, who claims that the glasses refused to stay on her face—blaming her (honestly perfectly normal) head rather than the specs—says that she would still recommend them. "If you have a skinny face that can hold them up, yes. It's one of those things where I'd totally use them as they were of benefit to my life and didn't require too much work from me."
Natasha, who is now totally obsessed with the specs, says, "I would certainly recommend the computer glasses to friends who are experiencing a similar kind of eye strain. Whether it's a mere placebo effect or not, my eyes feel much better and that's what I wanted to get out of them. But I'd recommend opting for the glasses with the clear frames as they don't obstruct your view of the computer screen as much as the opaque styles."
And myself? Well, I haven't stopped wearing them—bar my foolish holiday separation—and I really think that they are improving my everyday eyes a fair bit, but the fact that they could be saving my vision from deteriorating at a rapid rate honestly makes me sleep a little easier a night. In short: I am a computer glasses convert and I couldn't be happier about it.
Written: Jan 15, 2018 11:38pm