I’m one of the lucky people over thirty with good eyesight, nearly perfect. Still, prescription glasses improved how I work and my day-to-day life. What follows now is a story about screens and headaches.

The issue

Being a programmer means spending a lot of time behind a screen, no matter how great whiteboards and pen and paper are. This job also requires much time thinking about all kinds of things logically and problem-solving. So at the end of the day, headaches started coming up.

But I like thinking; my ADHD brain goes brrr whenever given a technical problem. That couldn’t possibly be the problem?

Ironically, it took me years to figure out it wasn’t just the work (and occasionally forgetting to hydrate) that contributed to these headaches.

Because they weren’t always headaches or constant, more often, it was my eyes feeling funny, for lack of a better term.

Eye test

I always pride myself on having good vision. When I’m a passenger in a train or car, I will look outside and try to see as many things as possible. When my partner recommended getting an eye test at a local optician, I thought that was the weirdest idea.

Narrator: It wasn’t a weird idea. It was a great idea.

Luckily, we knew where to find a good optician store owned by a qualified optometrist.

The optician first did a basic eye test. It turned out that my eyes were accommodating so much that she didn’t see any use in testing further without numbing my eyes, which only an optometrist can do.

The optometrist came around, asked questions, and we decided to do a more rigorous test. He put a numbing fluid into my eyes, which meant my eyes would no longer adjust themselves.

I temporarily lost my close-up vision, became more sensitive to light, and my pupils looked huge for hours. I even got a note to give the police if they approached me for appearing under the influence.

We did the test, and lo and behold: we found something!

Ladies and gentlemen, my eyes are as ADHD as I am. They are so active in the background, constantly accommodating, and it tires them out. No wonder my issues only occurred at the end of a working day.


The solution to my twitchy eye problem came in the form of prescription glasses for screen time only. Since you cannot choose glasses with numb eyes, I returned to the store several days later.

My glasses change the focal point of my eyes using a combination of -0.5 and 0.5 lens adjustments (dear opticians, sorry for butchering your jargon) to create a pair of glasses that move my focal point to one better suited for screens. We also added blue light filtering while at it.

The optician also assured me that the glasses would not decrease eyesight because they are neutral in correction. Any decrease will be naturally due to aging.

And boy, do these things work. After picking them up, I felt skeptical, hoping the store hadn’t taken me out of a tidy sum of euros. It wasn’t long until skepticism turned into awe.

These things work. My eyes no longer feel tired at the end of the day, and they don’t bother me. It was like magic happened, except it was science.


Before glasses, my symptoms would range from tired eyes to full-blown headaches for the rest of the day. I would ignore all the complaints (bad idea) and see whatever I’d end up with in the evening.

Now, my eyes feel good throughout the day. My headaches dropped, and my eyes no longer feel tired; it’s incredible. I don’t lose evenings to headaches anymore.

Another fun fact is that glasses make you appear more intelligent, so I’m also wearing them in meetings.

The moral of the story: check your eyes even when your vision is still good.