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Gunnar Glasses: Do They Work?

BY Tami Brehse In Profitability On Aug 18, 2016 With 0 Comments

The average American adult spends 11 hours per day looking at a screen, be it a computer, television or mobile device. That’s almost half of the entire day, and the majority of our waking hours!

For entrepreneurs, computer use is critical to our professional success. But with all of that screen staring, there’s bound to be some unintended side effects on our vision.

Enter: Gunnar glasses.

They’re a type of eyewear designed to reduce the damage our eyes sustain from looking at electronic gadgets for extended amounts of time. They caught our (screen-strained) eyes, and we had to check them out.

So what exactly do they do, and more importantly, do they work?

The Gunnar ConceptGunnars.jpg

According to the The Vision Council’s 2016 Digital Eye Strain Report (yes, that’s a thing), 65% of us experience digital eye strain symptoms like dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, neck and back pain and headaches.

Sound familiar? Yep, we’re right there with you.

Gunnar created an innovative line of eyewear designed to mitigate these symptoms. According to their website, here’s how they do it:

  • Lens tinting adds additional contrast to a screen’s unnatural blue light, which our naked eyes aren’t designed to handle in large doses
  • Lens focusing aids your eye’s natural focus on the screen with less effort, which reduces fatigue
  • Lens coatings block high-energy, artificial blue light, UV and glare to protect your vision

For those of us with less-than-perfect vision, they also offer prescription lenses.

They sound great, right? But our next question was obvious: is there any medical backing behind the claims?

Science Says…

…Well, it’s not so cut and dry.

A quick Google search will return mixed reviews of the glasses, with some saying they’re life-altering and others claiming they don’t change a thing.

The reviews from actual physicians are few and far between—and understandably so. A licensed optometrist probably isn’t likely to make a sweeping endorsement of a product to people he’s never examined personally.

Photo via wellconnectedmom.com

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Two of the most thorough reviews we dug up came from LifeHacker and GameCrate, both of which came to a similar conclusion: if you have underlying vision issues or experience frequent symptoms related to eye-strain, the glasses can bring a world of relief.

If you don’t specifically notice your eyes bothering you, though, they probably won’t make your day in front of the computer any less taxing.

So, did we try them for ourselves? You betcha.

Our Take

As CEO and chief-of-cool-gadget-testing here at Ignite Spot, I took it upon myself to try out the glasses for a few weeks. I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

I found they noticeably cut down on the glare from my computer screen and stopped me from getting headaches, both of which were a welcome change.

Do I need them to work at my computer? Not really, but I do find them helpful when I’ve got a project that’s going to keep me in front of the screen for an extended amount of time.

If you’re thinking of making the investment in Gunnars, talking with your eye doctor first can probably give you a better idea of whether they’ll work for you.

If you’re not quite ready to spring for a pair yourself, here are a few tips from the eye docs at All About Vision:

  • Match your computer screen’s brightness with the surrounding environment. If it’s bright enough to be a light source, it’s too bright.
  • Practice the 20-20-20 rule to exercise your eye muscles. Every 20 minutes, shift your gaze to something 20 feet away from your computer and hold it for 20 seconds.
  • Take “mini breaks” of about 5 minutes in addition to your longer lunch break. Go for a quick lap around your office and take a break from looking at screens.
  • Get an eye exam. It may not be the screen, but your vision that’s causing irritation. Contact lenses might be in order!

Have you tried computer eyewear like Gunnar glasses? Leave a comment and tell us what you think of them.

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