Table of Contents
- The Digital Age is Upon Us
- An Eye for a Screen?
- Conmputer Vision Syndrome is Big and it’s Real
- Computer Glasses: What the Heck Are They?
- Gamer Glasses vs Computer Glasses: One and the Same
- Gunnar Gamer Glasses at the Forefront
- Optimization Customization
- There’s One for Everyone
- So, Do Gunnar Glasses Really Work?
- Points To Mention
- Steep Price, High Reward
This is a Gunnar eyewear review for computers,which is not to be confused with gunnar gamer glasses. Soon we will be putting up an article devoted entirely to gunnar gaming glasses vs computer glasses, alas, this is not it. Many people have asked me, “do gunnar computer glasses really work?” Well here’s my answer! They… Just kidding check out the Gunnar Computer Glasses Review to find out!
The Digital Age is Upon Us
Human evolution has not prepared our minds and bodies for the veritable blitz of information which we are exposed to on a daily basis, nor has it prepared us for the ways in which this information is being made available to us. Case in point: many individuals go to bed at night with their smartphones, and wake up with them in the morning. The darkened room and the blue glare. Sounds familiar? the digitization of society as we know it has caused us to be surrounded by even more screens and artificial lighting than ever before, on a daily basis.
Desktop and laptop monitors, tablets, smartphones, portable games, e-readers, televisions – many of us are spending countless hours in front of these screens, sometimes consecutively. Most of the time, we are not aware of just how hard our eyes are working in order to provide us with clear images. We are heavily taxing our eyes in order to clearly see the world around us, along with its multitude of screens.
An Eye for a Screen?
The human body is an amazing machine, but even the greatest machines have their limitations. Slowly but surely, this eye-challenging behavior is beginning to show its harmful effects. Obviously, there are those who are more prone to harm than others – genetic disposition, pre-existing conditions, etc. – but there is no doubt that such effects are becoming more and more prevalent, even with those who have spent their entire lives without any kind of optical issues.
In 2010, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Melinda Beck titled “Becoming a Squinter Nation”. In it, Beck quotes optometrist Dr. Jeffery Anshel, president of Corporate Vision Consulting, which plainly stated what needed to be said: “the information age has taken a toll on our eyesight”.
Computer Vision Syndrome is Big and it’s Real
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is not so well-known. Not yet, anyway. In time, it will be. CVS is the medical term for the condition associated with spending long hours in front of display devices. This condition is usually temporary – righting itself when the patient discontinues the use of the display devices in question – but in some cases the symptoms become more and more acute, and last for prolonged periods of time. Symptoms of CVS include neck pains, blurred vision, headaches, fatigue, double vision, red eyes, dry eyes, eye strain, dizziness, and vertigo. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 90% of the people who spent three hours or more at day at a computer are affected by this syndrome on some level. These days, there is a constant stream of people who are showing up at their ophthalmologist’s office for an eye checkup, with complaints of symptoms which all point towards CVS.
In the past, the typical conditions for which doctors had prescribed eyeglasses were usually nearsightedness, or age-related issues having to do with focus. The problems which CVS introduces are mainly dealing with the mid-range field of vision. The problem is that people are sitting anywhere between 18 – 40 inches from their computer screens. Because of the margin of error, it is almost impossible to prescribe the right glasses. Prescribing the wrong kind of glasses has the potential to make things even worse.
CVS is becoming an increasing problem for many of us, even if we are not yet aware of its implications and ramifications. Furthermore, the problem is accentuated due to the many hours of exposure to artificial blue light, which many of our devices emit.
The problem, in a nutshell, is digital eye strain. Our eyes have not grown accustomed to the continued exposure to artificial blue light, for such long periods of time. It is safe to assume that in the near and foreseeable future, screens will continue to be used by us for work, school, play, and general interaction. This is why it is so important that we learn how to protect ourselves by developing healthy eye habits, now.
— GUNNAR Optiks ➡️ PAX South (@GUNNAROptiks) March 6, 2017
Computer Glasses: What the Heck Are They?
One way to ensure that our eyes are not under so much strain, is by using computer eyeglasses. This is the name given to glasses which have been specially engineered to decrease (and in some cases totally eliminate) the strain, fatigue, and dryness caused by display devices. Computer glasses are recommended by doctors and optometrists alike, in order to prevent CVS and its symptoms.
Computer glasses are light, ergonomic, and made for the digital age. Their unique designs provides better and clearer vision, which puts less strain on the eye muscles and reduces the effects of dry eyes. Computer glasses’ lenses are usually tinted, to protect the wearer from high-energy UV and glare. These emanate from all the different screens we use throughout the day. The idea that we are in need of a new type of optical solution for this age is a profound and welcomed one. It can help solve a lot of issues people are having with CVS. After all, why do we insist on continuing use of glasses made with older methods, when they are clearly not providing the solutions or adequate protection that we now require? So, instead of using old-school lenses made with old-school technology – which is not equipped to handle the demands of the newer generation’s issues – consider discovering a new brand of eye-ware. Computer eyeglasses are designed to meet the needs of the information age, and help reduce the harmful effects of computer usage.
Gamer Glasses vs Computer Glasses: One and the Same
Computer glasses have been nicknamed “gamer glasses”, but the truth is they are not just for gamers. Yes, gamers notoriously spend many hours at computer screens, but are they really that different from the rest of us? What is the difference between sitting in front of the newest first-person shooter, and sitting in front of a web browser, word processor, slideshow maker, or spreadsheet software at an office surrounded by artificial lights? Yes, there are some differences, but experts are now telling us that it is not only gamers that are at risk of damaging and compromising their eyesight and health. We are all at risk.
Workers of all kinds are also in danger of causing a lot of harm to their eyes, since many of them are not taking the necessary measures to maintain proper eye health. They do not have a proper chair, they do not take breaks, they do not exercise their eyes, they do not sit at the proper distance from their monitors, and what is worse – they do not pay attention when CVS symptoms begin to affect them. They dismiss the pains and fatigue as a temporary issue. Of course, this makes perfect sense, since in the offset of CVS it can certainly appear to be an isolated incident. Because of this, they dismiss their symptoms, perhaps pop a pill or rub some Ben Gay on their stiff necks, and carry on with their harmful and destructive work habits. Sometimes, they will lay off the computer for a while altogether, but then return when the symptoms are gone. Later, when the problems intensify and become more pronounced, these people will wonder where they went wrong, and whether there was something that could have been done to prevent the damage.
Gunnar Gamer Glasses at the Forefront
One brand of computer glasses which has been gaining a lot of popularity recently is GUNNAR. I ordered a pair of their Intercept Colors style, model INT-06701, smoke colored frame. According to their website (gunnars.com), their technology is the result of continued ophthalmological research, and is proprietary and patented. While there are other brands of computer glasses on the market, GUNNAR is the only one with approved patents. Its unique styles and designs separate it from the competition to a great degree.
I am not a gamer, but I certainly spend a lot of time in front of computer screens. I know, for a fact, that I am not taking the necessary precautions, unfortunately. Perhaps if I was taking more care of my eyes, I would not feel the need of glasses such as these. Of course, that is not to say that only someone who is experiencing CVS symptoms should get on board. Far from it. Anyone and everyone who spends time in front of a screen – students, workers, etc. – should protect themselves, preferably before any eye fatigue or headaches set in. It is best to nip this sort of thing in the bud by obtaining the proper eye wear, and incorporating proper computer conduct into our busy schedule.
GUNNAR has many different models and styles to choose from. I went with the Intercept model for several reasons:
First, it is one of their more basic models. They have ones that cost more and perhaps do more, but I wanted to start with something simple. It is, after all, an investment, and I wasn’t sure if I would like them or not.
Second, it is fit for both working and gaming. Hey – you never know when I may suddenly develop the unstoppable urge to play hours and hours of Grand Theft Auto again! Ah, good times.
The third reason is the look. I love the way these glasses look. They have this retro sort of style to them, which I totally dig. Simply put – they look good. The Intercept model comes in a number of colors, and I liked the ‘smoke’ color, so I went for it. It goes well with the yellowish tint of the lenses, in my opinion.
GUNNAR has many other models, which come in a variety of combinations:
- Adjustable nose or Asian fit.
- Full frame or semi-rimless.
- Medium, narrow, or wide fit.
- Oval, rectangular, or square.
- Frames made of stainless steel, nylon polymer, aluminum/magnesium alloy, or acetate.
There’s One for Everyone
- Computer styles – these are models which are made for those working in front of a digital screen. They reduce eye strain, keep the eyes moist by eliminating dry air currents, reduce glare, and relieve CVS symptoms.
- Gaming styles – these are computer glasses specifically designed for gamers. Several models were designed by Razer (For Gamers, By Gamers). Many of the gaming style frames are compatible with a headset.
- Reader styles – these are models which incorporate the amber tint, air current protection, and protective lens coating. They are available in +1.00, +1.50, and +2.00 power.
- Crystalline styles – these are models which do not feature the amber tint on the lenses. They offer a view which is clear and closer to true color, as opposed to the amber lenses which are tuned to eliminate the effects of the high-energy blue light. The crystalline lenses are perfect for visual artists who require true color in their work.
- Prescription styles – meant for those who wish to wear their GUNNAR glasses as a prescribed corrective device. The lenses are optimized for computer viewing, personalized by prescription, and are inspected by optical lab specialists before shipping. Orders come with a protective case.
- For those with vision insurance, it is possible to receive a reimbursement, depending on your provider and plan.
- Outdoor styles – some fun in the sun? Why not! These models are computer glasses designed for outdoor use. They block all harmful UVA and UVB light, and combine style and science to deliver a pair of sunglasses which is a cut above the rest.
- GUNNAR also sells related gear and accessories: eyeglasses cases, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, lens cleaner, glasses temple sleeves, electronic cleaner, and even a wedge for propping up eyewear.
So, Do Gunnar Glasses Really Work?
As far as reviewing these glasses is concerned, here is my review in a nutshell – these glasses work. Even if you aren’t spending your days looking at a digital screens – and most certainly if you are – it is a wise investment in yourself and in your future.
It will probably take some time for the long-term effects of our screen-intensive digital lifestyle to become apparent, but issues such as CVS are already showing themselves to be a part of many people’s life.
When I first slipped them on, I could immediately see a difference. Literally. The glare and brightness of my computer screen were visibly, pun intended, reduced, and I found the warm tint very welcoming. Over the next few days, I wore them while I was working at my computer. I didn’t suffer from severe CVS symptoms beforehand, I think, but there was certainly an improvement in the fatigue department. I noticed that I was able to last longer in front of the screen, without having to tear my eyes away and rub them.
The box which they came in included a carrying pouch made of some sort of microfiber, which can probably be used for lens cleaning as well. I already have a lens cleaner, so I didn’t need to use the pouch.
After wearing them for a few days, I could definitely understand why GUNNARs are marketed as gamer glasses. There are some games where you can’t afford to blink, or you will be shot dead by an enemy player. These glasses enable the wearer to work/play for longer periods of time. They take some pressure off of the eyes, and do not require them to work as hard to achieve a clear picture.
Points To Mention
The lenses – they smudge easily, and they require cleaning more often than regular eyeglasses or sunglasses do. The lenses themselves are large and invisible, thanks to the size of the frame surrounding them. You don’t get the frame in your peripheral vision. I know this is a big pet peeve of many glasses wearers, so I felt I should mention it.
The frame – in the beginning, it felt kind of flimsy, but I came to understand that just because the glasses are light – and they are – it does not mean they are cheap. The frame I got is made of nylon polymer, which is a very durable substance, and it can last a long time if handled with care.
Alternatives – while there are alternatives to purchasing computer glasses, such as eye drops, multi focal contact lenses, or corrective surgery, none of them do precisely what these glasses can. Computer glasses are designed to counter the harmful effects of screens. No other method or technique I have encountered targets the issue quite as closely as these do. GUNNARS are definitely on to something here, and it is important to understand that these glasses can not only change your present experience, but also your future. This is especially true if you are a hardcore gamer/worker, who spends 8+ hours a day in front of a computer screen. Heck, these days some people are in front of two or even three computer screens, for hours a day.
So, as I said in the beginning, human evolution has probably not prepared our eyes for this bombardment of artificial blue light, UV, glare, and hours of screen-staring. But even so, there is no reason why we should simply accept things for how they are. There are measures that can be taken to prevent short- and long-term damage from occurring.
Steep Price, High Reward
One drawback which may be crucial for some is the price. However, I take issue with this claim. I believe that you get what you pay for. Prices for glasses (non-prescription) start at $56, and reach up to $149. So, yes, it does cost some money, but it balances out relatively quickly. Consider the money, time, and energy you will be saving by leading a healthier lifestyle. Seriously, it is something which – in my opinion – should be factored in when dealing with an item such as this. This is a long-term investment, and this is especially true to those who are ordering prescription glasses.
GUNNAR glasses are a product I would recommend for anyone who is spending time in front of a screen. GUNNAR offers a 30-day money back guarantee and an easy exchange policy, for non-prescription glasses, as well as a year-long warranty. Prescription glasses also have a warranty, which slightly differs due to the personalized nature of the product. GUNNAR are based in the United States, and have official representatives and distributors in close to 50 other countries in Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Africa. So, get to their website and choose the style and model that is right for you and your needs.
One More Thing…
I wanted to take a moment to talk about GUNNAR glasses with regards to shooting. We are a gun blog afterall! Hunters and Marksmen have been using yellow tinted classes for years to improve their shot. The yellow tint allows for better contrast and therefore enhanced vision of your surroundings and target. That said I think GUNNAR glasses would work well for shooting. Throw them in your range bag with your ear protection and other gun gear for a day at the range or the great outdoors!
As always shoot smart and stay safe!
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