Eye strain bugging you? Been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto V since September 17? Trying to complete a huge project with an unreasonable deadline at work?
If so, you’ve been looking at a computer monitor or TV screen a lot lately. 8 – 10 hours a day or more. Add to that your use of a smartphone and/or tablet and it immediately becomes obvious that you’ve been subjecting your eyes to a high amount of unnatural light and focusing activity. Turns out that computer screens and other electronic displays don’t put out a spectrum of light to which our eyes are optimally-adapted. Combine that with prolonged focusing on a single plane, reduced blink rate, poorly-adjusted screens with too much glare, the addition of harsh artificial lighting, and you’ve got a prescription for eye strain.
Symptoms of eyestrain can include aching eyes, headaches, intermittent blurring of vision, dry eyes, redness, itchy eyes, a burning sensation, changes in the perception of color, and a tight, achy neck or shoulders.
Enthusiastic computer gamers and console gamers know all about eye strain. So do students who stay up all night to finish a term paper.
It ain’t natural, man.
Still, computer gaming is fun and computers in the office significantly enhance productivity. Computers and electronic screens aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, we just keep adding more of them.
So what are your overworked eyes supposed to do?
The Solution for Computer Eye Strain
The guys at Gunnar Optiks have come up with eyewear that people who stare at electronic screens (and that’s most of us) can use to significantly reduce eyestrain and even improve their experience of gazing at a monitor. That’s right — gaming can become even better!
The technology is complex, but in a nutshell, computer glasses or gaming glasses from Gunnar Optiks absorb some of the abundance of blue light from computer screens, increase the contrast of what you’re looking at in order to improve visual comfort, enhance detail, reduce drying air flow around the eyes, and help to modify glare.
Suddenly, you find that marathon gaming sessions aren’t so fatiguing on your eyes.
Gunnar has been working to develop and improve glasses that relieve screen-caused eye strain since 2007. They have caught the attention of the technology-review press, including PCWorld (see their article on Computer Vision Syndrome), Lifehacker, and Gizmodo. Gunnar Optiks has developed a line of glasses for use with computer screens, TVs, and other electronic displays, both for people with 20/20 vision and those who require a prescription. Their eyewear has become well-known in gaming circles (and some people even think the yellow-tinted glasses look pretty cool when worn around the offices of the latest cutting-edge tech startup). They also make Crystalline Eyewear specifically for graphic designers and video/film editors. And they’ve branched out into making Advanced Outdoor Eyewear for those who use digital monitors in outdoor situations, such as pilots and truck drivers, and those who use their laptops and smartphones outdoors frequently.
Here are some of the user reviews for Gunnar Optiks gaming glasses and computer glasses:
“I was noticing after being in computer science courses and coming home to play games that my eyes were starting to get fatigued. I was pushing towards the monitor to get a little closer and I was commonly getting headaches. I looked into the different computer glasses out there, and given that I’m a gamer, decided to give these a go. I wear these any time I’m in front of the computer at home now because they help that much. I work online as well, and these prevent eye strain and allow me to sit long hours with no problems that I used to experience. This alone is worth the investment, but I also noticed my gaming change significantly.
“The real difference I noticed that was unique was how I used my eyes. I play both BF3 and League of Legends and in both games without the glasses I use my peripherals to see people, and immediately snap to them afterwards. When I play with the Gunnars on I naturally move my eyes around the entire screen. This is especially useful in League of Legends because, playing support, I have to constantly look at the map and back to the battlefield. This is simply not as easy without the glasses because I have difficulty immediately focusing after moving my eyes (very short, but it’s still present) and it causes major fatigue when looking all over the place all the time. While many people might not have the same issue I have, using the glasses has made it much easier to play and has completely eliminated my headaches and eyestrain I had been experiencing so much before.”
“This pair in particular [Vinyl Advanced Computer Glasses] is rather lightweight & it comes in a black rich-looking packed box. The lenses get fingerprints on them very easily & it is important to keep giving them a wipedown using a light soft fabric. They have the chic geek look when you put them on & the images on the screen pop out rather well while at the same time the yellow acts as a diffuser & almost softens the experience of spending time at your computer screen. Overall I reckon this was a good purchase & should help me spend more time in front of the computer without their eyes going to Bedlam.”
“I use the computer for most of the day, and have suffered from dry and irritated eyes. I’ve bought the Gunnar Optiks SheaDog (Onyx) a couple months ago. When putting on the glasses for the first time, I hoped to feel a noticeable improvement in contrast and the slight magnification. But in practice, I don’t feel that the glasses improve my vision noticeably. However, after using them for several weeks, I can say that they do reduce eyestrain. I used to reach the end of the day with dry, red, and burning eyes. Today by 3am my eyes are tired but not red or burning, and I don’t feel the need to stop and rub them. Bottom line: Not a magic solution, and it doesn’t solve 100% of eyestrain issues. The same lens technologies used to reduce harmful light can cause other irritations (tint, reflection of own eyes). Nevertheless, I DO choose to put these on each morning (and until each night) for the reduce in eyestrain.”
The Bottom Line on Gunnar Optiks Computer and Gaming Glasses (plus a current offer for a free thumbdrive)
I’d say the bottom line to take away is if you use an electronic screen for more than a couple of hours a day (and who doesn’t?) Gunnar Optiks computer glasses or gaming glasses are definitely worth a try. They have a 30-day return policy if you buy them from the Gunnar Optiks website. Try them, and if you think your electronic visual experience is not better, simply send them back for a refund. Gunnar has a lot of styles to choose from. (Some people simply wear Gunnars to enhance their own style — the vision improvement being a nice side benefit.) And you can get free shipping on orders over $99 from their site.
And right now receive a FREE 4GB USB thumb drive with the purchase of any eyewear from Gunnar using code FREEUSB. (Enter the code at checkout; minimum $69 purchase required. This deal lasts until October 6.)
Here’s a video with more info about the lens technology used in Gunnar Optiks computer glasses:
Now, in addition to the eye strain solution from Gunnar Optiks, just remember not to sit too long at a time, and you’ll be feeling much better as you get stuff done at work or school or rack up the most kills for your Halo team.