Whether you’re an avid gamer who spends long hours shooting things and building imaginary worlds or you work on computers all day programming, designing. Or doing any sorts of digital work, you’ve probably experienced some degree of fatigue in the form of headache or strained eyes due to the constant staring at the screen.
This is, in fact, a medical condition called “Digital Eye Strain” or “Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)” that affects many people these days due to the abundance of monitors that surround us everywhere and our lifestyle where we’re looking at mobiles, computers, and TVs at all times, at home, at work, and even in the streets.
A popular solution to straining eyes, especially among hardcore gamers, is using computer or gaming glasses, which helps reduce the effects of monitors on the eyes and slow down their tiredness rate.
Gunnar Optiks is one of these well-known companies that produce such eyewear, but do the Gunnar glasses really work?
Why Are Screens Bad for The Eyes?
Before looking at what the Gunnar glasses do, let’s understand why looking at screens for a long period causes eye strain in the first place.
Monitors emit high-intensity blue light that’s harsh on the eyes and require more focus in order to view objects and words on the screen. Such glare increases the strain and can impair vision.
Another cause of fatigue for the eyes is the lack of sharp contrast between objects on the screen, unlike in reality. This requires the eyes to continuously change focus, which is exhausting over a long time.
Moreover, when the eyes are focusing hard, they tend to blink less, which results in dehydrated eyes, especially in rooms with dry air, that makes them burn an itch.
All this strain on the eyes leads to CVS, which damages the retina and induces disruptive sleep patterns, headaches, stress, and depression.
How Do Gunnar Glasses Work?
The Gunnar glasses work on solving such problems by reducing or eliminating the bad effects of the screen on the eye. They use several techniques to achieve the desired outcome.
The first thing is the yellow tint of the lenses, which acts as a shield for the eyes against the artificial high-energy visible (HEV) blue light emanating from the screen. The tint filters the blue light and tunes the contrast of the colors to comfortable amounts for better visuals.
Gunnar has an index called “Blue Light Protection Factor (BLPF)” that indicates how much blue light the lens filters. It ranges from clear (35 BLPF) to amber max (98 BLPF).
Choosing which lens is better for you depends on your eyes’ sensitivity, how much protection you need, and your comfort with the amber tint. The clear crystalline version is suitable for people who are disturbed by the yellow vision or people who do work that requires seeing true colors like graphic design.
The glasses’ focus creates a magnification effect that’s engineered according to the common distance between the user and the screen. Subsequently, improving visibility and comfort.
The anti-reflective coating on both sides of the lenses helps in reducing the glare, reflecting and blocking UV light, and protecting the vision from harmful rays.
The curved shape of the lenses and the frame of the glasses make them wrap around the eyes. Hence, reducing the dry air circulation in this area and focusing humidity in it, thus increasing the moisture of the eyes and protecting them from irritation and burning due to dryness.
Gunnar provides a prescription option for people who already use glasses and don’t want to keep changing between their prescription glasses and Gunnar glasses. This is suitable for far-sighted people who can get irritated by the normal magnification of the lenses or near-sighted people who want to use the glasses to watch TV or far screens.
Are The Gunnar Glasses Really Effective?
The Gunnar website claims that their eyewear is US patented lens. Several reputable sources like LifeHacker, Gizmodo, PCWorld, and GameCrate give favorable reviews for the lens. They mention that the glasses do in fact work as claimed.
The glasses were tested by gamers and bloggers who were using them while gaming, watching TV, and using several electronic devices. The testers experienced actual relief from eye strain, headaches, and other CVS symptoms, even after long hours of screen usage.
However, it’s worth noting that people who don’t suffer from CVS will most likely experience little to no difference and might even get more disturbed by the tint or the focus of the lenses.
Here are our reviews of two pairs of the eyewear products provided by Gunnar.
GUNNAR Intercept Computer Glasses
- GUNNAR Gaming and Computer Glasses: GUNNAR glasses protect your eyes and enhance performance. Reduce digital eye strain...
- Patented Lens Technology: GUNNAR is the only patented gaming and computer eyewear recommended by doctors to protect and...
- Reduce Digital Eye Strain: GUNNAR glasses address all short and long-term side effects associated with digital eye...
- Block Blue Light: GUNNAR lens tints filter artificial blue light emitted from digital screens. Just how Sun Protection...
- Sleep Better: GUNNAR glasses block harmful blue light, which helps you maintain your circadian rhythm, the body's...
The Intercept glasses are very efficient for gaming, as well as outdoor use. They have a retro classic design with wide lenses and balanced frame supports. The frame is made from injection polymers with a sturdy lens mounting, a curved nose rest and multi-barrel hinges to provide comfort.
The lenses are coated with hard silicone to protect against scratches and they come in 65, 98, and 65/90 BLPF, which reacts to sunlight and shifts between 65 and 90 amber tints. Their medium to large size makes them a good fit for men.
Despite having positive reviews regarding the efficiency of the glasses, some customers complain about the low quality and bad fit of the frame.
GUNNAR Jewel Computer Glasses
- Protect your eyes - high energy Blue light emitted by electronic devices have shown to increase the risk of accumulated...
- block Blue light - block 65% of harmful Blue light, 100% of UV. Prevent short-term and long-term Damage like macular...
- Sleep better - block Blue light and reduce eye strain that affects your bodies circadian rhythms and prevents healthy...
- Reduce eye strain - minimize headaches, dry eye and eye fatigue with added amber lens contrast, anti reflective coatings...
- Comfort & protection - comfortable frames fit ergonomically with your face and head, FDA Approved. Rested eyes, No...
The Jewel glasses are great for office use for people who spend a lot of time in front of computer monitors. They feature a handcrafted cat-eye curvy design. The frame is made from acetate materials.
The frame is light and flexible with good weight balance that provides comfort. The lenses have a wide panoramic view capability and they come in the clear 35 and amber 65 BLPF tints. The small to medium size with the stylish design is perfect for female tech users.
The Gunnar glasses provide a very effective solution to CVS symptoms and eye strain resulting from excessive use of digital screens. If you’re suffering from too much eye fatigue and headaches due to this, consider getting yourself a pair to protect your vision and relieve your pain.