As seen on ABC’s Shark Tank – glasses are engineered to eliminate digital eye strain and block blue light.
For the past several years, I have been working up to 14 hours per day behind a computer screen. About 6 years ago, I started noticing how incredibly tired and dry my eyes seemed after the first part of my day and I thought it was just because I was wearing my disposable contacts too long. So, after discontinuing use of my contacts and wearing my glasses exclusively, I kept finding myself taking the glasses off throughout the day and rubbing my eyes. This practice in itself isn’t healthy for your eyes because it can cause a lot of infections and additional eye strain if you have a significant enough prescription. I’ve been very fortunate to only have a mild case of nearsightedness so my prescription glasses sort of make a standard definition world seem more like high definition when I use them. I can see without my glasses, but the world just isn’t as clear as it can be.
So, for quite some time, I’ve not been using my prescription glasses and all the while, I’ve been straining my eyes to the point where I have headaches and am extremely tired at the end of the day. Let’s face it — prescription glasses are expensive and most insurance doesn’t cover them. If you work behind a computer, what options do you have? The answer is Gunnar Optiks.
ABOUT THE GLASSES
Gunnar Optiks is a company that has designed glasses that reduce digital eye strain, improve comfort and focus, and protects the eyes. They recognize that human eyes — naked human eyes — aren’t meant to stare at digital screens the emit the harmful, artificial blue light. And, when we do, our entire biological ecosystem can be disrupted. Gunnar Optiks labels the condition as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and suggest that nearly 70% of U.S. adults experience digital eyestrain due to the excessive use of digital devices. Long-term exposure to high-energy visible (HEV) artificial blue light can actually lead to problems such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. According to an article I found online from the Review of Optometry, an estimated 90% of all our light sources are estimated to be LED lighting, which emits the harmful blue light, too. We are a population at risk and Gunnar Optiks has a good solution for protecting our eyes.
Even though you can get a special coating on prescription lenses to help reduce your blue light exposure, Gunnar provides the only patented computer lens technology solution for protecting and enhancing your vision. Their lenses are designed to limit air currents near the eyes while the lens material eliminates distortion to ensure the clearest image possible. The lens tint is probably the most important consideration with the Gunnar Optiks glasses. The custom lens tints filter the blue light and block the UV light so that your eyes experience less visual stress. There are four types of tints — Amber, Liquet, Crystalline, and non-polarized outdoor tint.
- AMBER, BFP 65: The signature Amber lens tint offers the best enhancement of contrast and visual performance while minimizing screen glare, and diminishing the harshest parts of the color spectrum. Our signature Amber lens tint filters 65% of harmful high-intensity blue light and 100% of UV light.
- LIQUET, BFP 35: The GUNNAR Liquet lens is the in-between solution for those who need a balanced color spectrum as well as protection from artificial blue light. The GUNNAR Liquet lens blocks 35% of artificial blue light without the tint so your creativity won’t be inhibited, and your eyes will feel much more relaxed at the same time.
- CRYSTALLINE, BFP 10: The Crystalline lens tint is designed specifically for graphic designers, video/film editors, and creative visual artists who require an equally balanced color spectrum. If your profession requires you to work in true color, then this lens option is for you. The Crystalline lens filters 10% of harmful high-intensity blue light and 100% of UV light.
- OUTDOOR, BFP 90: Our Outdoor lens tint helps enhance your outdoor experience when you’re spending time away from home or the office. When you need to go outside and face the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays, you need the GUNNAR Outdoor lens. The Outdoor lens filters all harmful UVA and UVB light and is specifically tuned to help improve your circadian rhythm by harnessing the benefits of long-wave blue light.
In addition to the different tint colors, Gunnar glasses have a special anti-reflective coating that reduces glare and reflective light so that visual distractions are eliminated. The glasses are available in prescription and non-prescription forms.
Being that I was in between old prescription and new prescription glasses, I really wanted to try Gunnar Optiks glasses to see if they would help reduce my tired eye issues and increase my productivity. We were sent three versions of the computer glasses — Vertex, Havok, and Intercept. I chose the Vertex style as I thought they looked most like me. The glasses came preassembled inside a Gunnar Optiks branded box. The box includes the glasses, a microfiber drawstring bag for storage, and some literature. The Vertex frames a very lightweight (only 22 grams) and has a very contemporary style to them. The frames are made from a polycarbonate material and transport very well. Gunnar rates them for use with both gaming and standard computing tasks. These frames came with the Amber tinted lenses.
I really like the way the Vertex frames fit me. They are a little tight around the temples, but not so much that I would consider them uncomfortable. I have worn them for several hours at a time and not found them to cause any headaches or even earaches like some lenses do. I used the Vertex glasses in two different environments — my home office and my work office. My home office resides in a space that is lit with LED lights. My desk’s main direct lighting is a Philips Hue Strip. I typically have it set to ‘white’, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not sending out blue light. When I first received the glasses, I put them on almost immediately and right away I noticed a difference. With the Amber lenses, you can definitely tell the difference between the filtered light and the world around you. For that first session, I worked with my Gunnar Vertex glasses for about two hours and I could tell a huge difference in how my eyes felt.
My work office environment is vastly different from my home office. I have two large fluorescent light panels above my desk and three smaller LED lights that I use to try and supplement my lighting (so I can turn the overhead lights off). Again, I used my Vertex glasses for nearly an entire 8-hour day and found that I didn’t feel like I immediately had to rest my eyes at the end of the day. The glasses are comfortable and it’s very apparent from my experience that they do work. I can’t really speak to what degree the glasses are helping my eyes but based off of how I feel at the end of the day, I would recommend these for all types of digital device users.
At the beginning of this review, I made mention of my out-of-date prescription glasses. As a part of my final thoughts on this product, I do want to stress that regular eye care appointments are essential for good eye health. You can supplement with Gunnar Optiks glasses and I’m sure your optometrist would be impressed that you sought it out on your own, but as good as I feel these glasses are helping me, I wouldn’t consider them a replacement for standard glasses. Towards the end of my review period with the Gunnar glasses, I actually had a new pair of prescription glasses ordered. They are not ‘tinted’ like the Gunnar Optiks lenses, but they do have the anti-reflective coating on them. My eye doctor felt it was important enough to include based on how often I sit behind a screen. I asked her opinion of Gunnar glasses and she confirmed that the tint does help to block the bad blue light and that the glare-free coating reduces reflections off of computer screen. She did say that she had some reports from some gamers of some eye-strain and headaches after prolonged use, but she attributed that to the curvature of the frame (face form).
I think it’s important to utilize all the tools possible to help you live a full and healthy life. The Gunnar Optiks lenses can really make the world a much brighter place and improve the overall health of your eyes. If you choose to pick up a pair, take the time to review the sizes of the frames and options that Gunnar provides to users. It can only benefit you in the long run.
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