What are Occupational Lenses, and Are They for Me?

What are Occupational Lenses, and Are They for Me?

Man reading on tablet wearing glasses

With so much of our work and free time spent on computers and handheld digital devices, it is no surprise that complaints of digital eye strain are on the rise. Occupational lenses, often called workspace, computer, or intermediate lenses, are a type of corrective lens designed to improve vision at intermediate and near, reducing discomfort caused by activities such as reading, doing paperwork, and using computers and handheld digital devices. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of occupational lenses and how they differ from other eyewear options.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital Eye Strain, also referred to as Digital Eye Fatigue or Computer Vision Syndrome, is a group of symptoms that occur when using digital screens for prolonged periods of time. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the average American worker spends seven hours a day on the computer either in the office or working from home. All of this time spent on computer screens can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Tired, irritated eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulders and neck
  • Trouble focusing

According to The Vision Council, 59% of American adults report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.

What is the Difference Between Progressive Lenses and Occupational Lenses?

Similar to Progredssive Lenses (PALs), Occupational Lenses use varying degrees of power to focus images at different distances. However, unlike PALs, which focus images at distance, intermediate and near, Occupational Lenses optimize vision at intermediate and near. More specifically, PALs are designed to be an all purpose lens for day-to-day activities, but they may not offer adequate comfort for someone who works at a computer for several hours per day. Occupational Lenses are ideal for people who need clear, comfortable vision at intermediate and near for long periods of time. 

Are Occupational Lenses a Good Fit for Me?

If you spend a large amount of time working on a computer, you would likely benefit from Occupational Lenses. There are a number of lens designs available, so it is important to talk to your optician about your day-to-day tasks and visual expectations, in order to find the best lens for your needs. To schedule an appointment with an optician, call (907) 328-2920. To Learn more about your eyes and eyewear options, visit the blog section of our website at www.mountainvieweyes.com/blog!


American Optometric Association, https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome

The Vision Council, Digital Eye Strain


Written By: Gina Stafford COA, LDO, ABOC

Posted in: Uncategorized

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