April 23, 2020 – I’ve been spending ever more time starting at a computer screen the past couple of months. Thank you, COVID-19.

Anticipating even more screen time in the coming months, and perhaps for a longer time, I thought I should invest in a second pair of glasses. Fortunately, I am functional without glasses, but, still, it’s good practice to be prepared with a spare.

Now an Arizona resident, I miss having my favorite dispensing optician nearby. Haig from Paris Optique in Studio City, CA is simply the best (on Yelp), finishing all the work on his own high-tech machine right there in his shop. He personally, finely, expertly fits the new lenses to your existing or new frames. I LOVE my new lenses in my own frames that Haig made shortly before the move.

Original Essilor lenses with Varilux®, Crizal® and Transitions®


I wanted to be prepared for what was obvious to me, that in this gig economy I needed the extra pair of glasses sooner than later. That precluded the turn-around time had I sent another set of frames to Haig. In addition, I could not sit there in front of him for a personal fitting.

Plan B. Not my favorite option, but desperate times . . . I went to Costco, refraction Rx in hand. I explained myself to the counter person in the Optical Department. When I said that I wanted this spare pair to also be optimized for computer use, she brightened with an idea.


She suggested that I get what has become a popular option for exactly this purpose. These so-called prescription “computer glasses” are optimized for sitting in front of a computer screen over extended periods. They have a blue coating to soften the harsh blues of a typical computer display. They are also set with the visual sweet spot where one looks forward at a screen, not for the wider area beyond and all around.

As a bonus, these glasses are less expensive by about $100! A Costco spare set of specs made from my Rx and using my own frames would have been about $225 with all the bells and whistles  – best quality lenses with their version of Essilor’s Transitions to auto darken in sunlight, UV coating, anti-reflective coating with polished edges. Instead, for about $125, I ordered her suggestion.

These specs are for inside use, so there is no protective UV coating, no darkening capabilities and no anti-reflective coating. The person who did the measurements also lowered the central area of focus a bit so I would not have to look at the upper area of the glasses to see the computer screen in front of me. That saves neck strain in my case.

Prescription computer lenses from Costco set into my frames


And what did I get in a week? My new prescription “computer glasses” from Costco are better than I could have imagined. I wear them most of the time while indoors. Not only are they ideal for the intended purpose opposite a computer monitor on my desk or while staring at my laptop screen, images are sharp and clear when watching my big screen TV from across the room.

Original prescription glasses, L, prescription computer glasses, R

What else is missing? The field of view is narrower whereas my “outdoor” glasses with the latest Essilor lenses from Paris Optique are nearly edge-to-edge in sharp focus from left to right.

Original glasses L, new prescription computer lenses from Costco, R

A few times I have forgotten I was wearing my computer glasses when I went out for necessities during this stay-at-home time. Probably not a good idea to do often, mostly because of the lack of UV protection, but I did not feel the need to go back home and swap glasses. I could survive outside with the computer specs.

I still need to get a spare set of my everyday “outdoor” glasses, but the pressure is off for now.

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