- In many situations, a single vision pair of spectacles will be appropriate for DSE use. It is good practice to bring other items needed for the task into the same visual plane as the screen wherever possible, for example by using a document holder.
- If the patient has to carry out a variety of tasks, it may be appropriate to prescribe bifocals, varifocals or degressive lenses. You should discuss the most suitable form of vision correction with the patient.
- If you prescribe spectacles specifically to enable the patient to use DSE and do other associated tasks, their employer is required to meet the costs of providing a basic frame and the prescribed lenses. If the patient chooses more costly appliances (for example designer frames or lenses with optical treatments unnecessary for their work) their employer is not obliged to pay for these. In these circumstances, the employer can either pay for a basic appliance or opt to contribute a portion of the total costs, equal to the cost of the basic appliance.
- You must only prescribe optical devices or tints if these are clinically justified and in the best interests of the patient,104 taking into account the patient’s views.105 The best scientific evidence currently available does not support the use of blue-blocking spectacle lenses in the general population to improve sleep quality or conserve macular health.106
- The employer is not required to pay for any spectacles prescribed for purposes other than DSE use, even if they include DSE use. The intention of the Regulations is not the free supply of spectacles to all DSE users, but to people who need spectacles only to use DSE as part of their employment.
104 General Optical Council (2016) Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians para 7.6 [Accessed 19 Nov 2020]
105 General Optical Council (2016) Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians para 1.2 [Accessed 19 Nov 2020]
106 The College of Optometrists (2018). Blue blocking spectacle lenses [Accessed 26 Nov 2020]