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I spent $130 on these reading glasses and can never go back to cheap readers

You owe it to yourself to spend a bit of extra money for a pair that can actually keep your eyes free of strain.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Caddis Bixby readers.

The Caddis Bixby glasses say, "Yes, I'm a nerd and proud of it!"

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

As a full-time writer, I stare at a screen for roughly 8-9 hours a day. And, given my age, my sight is certainly not what it once was. To that end, I depend on readers (because my distance vision is still spot on). In order to actually read what I'm writing, I wear readers all day.

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Of course, given this digital age, I don't just slap any old pair of glasses on my face, I opt to go with glasses that protect my eyes from those monitors, phones, and games. Yes, I'm talking about "blue blockers." 

Before you scoff, hear me out.

I used to mock the technology. When I was using cheaper readers that claimed to protect the eyes from that particular color spectrum, I rarely saw any difference. It wasn't until my wife purchased me a pair of readers from Caddis Eye Appliances when I actually noticed the difference. 

View at Caddislife

As to the efficacy of those costlier spectacles, the other day I accidentally left my Caddis Bixby glasses in another room. Instead of fetching them, I grabbed another pair of (cheaper) readers and put them on. Almost instantly, I noticed the difference. All of a sudden my screen strained my eyes to the point it was almost painful to look at. I'd become so used to viewing digital screens through the Caddis glasses that all of my other glasses had become a no-go.

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It literally took me just a few seconds to notice the difference. Even though I'd been wearing the Caddis glasses for over a year, I'd never really bothered to test the difference, simply because the glasses were clearly far superior to the ones I'd been wearing. Not only was the lens clearer, the frames were stronger and the hardware (hinges) were far more reliable. I've dropped the glasses several times and they've yet to break or so much as scratch. The only thing I've had to do with the Bixby's is tighten the hinge screw now and then.

On top of that, you can actually see the difference. Slip on a pair of other glasses that claim to block the harmful spectrum and everything looks normal. Through the lenses of the Caddis, you can actually see a brownish tint through the glass. It's a bit disconcerting when you're not looking at a screen (because it does alter the color of what you're seeing), but you get used to it.

A comparison of the Caddis Bixby and another pair of glasses.

The Caddis Bixby is on the left and another pair that is supposed to include blue light-blocking tint is on the right.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

The Caddis Bixby specs

If you're curious about the specs of these specs (pun intended), here they are:

  • Near-clear lenses with blue-blocking technology
  • Anti-reflective, scratch-resistant coating
  • Bio-based acetate frame with 5-barrel industrial hinges
  • Made for slightly smaller faces (for larger faces, to with the Miklos)
  • Lens power options range from 0.00 all the way to 3.50

The cost of the Caddis Bixby reader glasses is $130. I know this sounds very steep for a pair of readers, but these might well be the last pair you ever have to buy (unless your vision gets worse or you lose them). From my perspective, the glasses have been very much worth every penny. I no longer suffer from screen-induced strain or headaches, which goes a long way in my field of work.

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Given anyone can pop over to Amazon and get a six-pack of readers for around $13, I know $130 for a single pair is a hard sell. And prior to me sporting the Caddis Bixby frames, the most I'd ever spent on a pair of readers was around $25. These glasses, however, have totally changed my mind. 

And if you stare at a screen all day, and value your vision, you should consider a pair of these (or some other style of frame from Caddis). This isn't hype. These glasses really do keep my eyes from suffering under the weight of strain after working in front of a monitor all day. And should the day come that I need to replace these, you can bet I'll be doing it with the same pair.

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