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GUNNAR glasses: Choosing the best protective eyewear for screen time

In this incredible digital age, much of your work and entertainment likely involves hours of staring into screens. While this makes so much possible from the comfort of a chair, it can affect your eyes and vision.

Gazing into a screen for long durations can lead to issues such as blurred vision, headaches, eye discomfort and eye fatigue, known as digital eye strain. While screen use is not yet proven to cause permanent damage, it can lead to dry eyes.

These maladies do not mean you have to give up gaming or hunt for a new, screen-free career. GUNNAR Optiks, co-founded by an optical engineer and an entrepreneur who struggled with digital eye strain, specializes in state-of-the-art glasses designed to safeguard eyes against the negative impacts of screen use.

Explore below to decide if GUNNAR glasses can improve your screen-time experience.

How does screen use affect the eyes?

Your total screen time accumulates throughout the day as you read the news, answer emails and rack up video game points. You may begin to experience symptoms of digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome as you do so.

Symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Dry eyes: People typically blink about 15 times per minute, but when you look at a digital screen, you likely blink only half that amount. That means your eyes lose out on needed lubrication, which can contribute to dry eyes. This common and uncomfortable condition results in inflammation and eye-surface damage.

  • Watery eyes: When you experience dry eyes, your eyes feel itchy and irritated, and may even sting. The body responds to this discomfort by going into overdrive with tear production, which can leave you reaching for tissues to mop up a constant flow from your eyes.

  • Headaches: Whether you gaze into a computer, tablet or cell phone, viewing a screen often makes the eyes work harder. This strain on your eyes can cause headaches and even migraines after consecutive hours of screen use, especially if you have uncorrected vision problems.

  • Blurry vision: The extra effort your eyes make in staring at pixels also contributes to temporary blurred vision. This strain sometimes occurs while looking at the computer and sometimes when looking into the distance.

SEE RELATED: Computer eye strain: 10 steps for relief

How do GUNNAR glasses work?

Designed to accommodate modern lifestyles that frequently place people in front of digital screens, GUNNAR glasses serve as safety eyewear to reduce digital eye strain. It remains the only patented gaming and computer eyewear recommended by doctors.

Expandable

But how does the science behind GUNNAR glasses work, exactly? The GUNNAR patented lens technology aids your eyes and vision in multiple ways.

  • Enhanced focusing power: The GUNNAR lens includes specially tuned focusing energy to enhance vision, which reduces eye strain and its many associated issues.

  • Filtering and balancing: The custom tints on GUNNAR lenses filter and balance the color spectrum to reduce artificial blue light from backlit screens. The tints also boost your eyes’ contrast perception, according to the GUNNAR website. This filtering and balancing minimize visual recovery time — the amount of time needed to regain clear vision after light exposure — and help to safeguard your eyes.

Why get GUNNAR glasses?

If you experience digital eye strain symptoms, GUNNAR Optiks glasses are designed to ease your eyes’ discomfort.

You may want to invest in a pair if you are interested in the results GUNNAR eyewear offers:

  • Reducing digital eye strain: As the GUNNAR lens material includes superior focusing power, it is easier for your eyes to focus on close-up items, like your screen, which helps lessen eye strain and provide sharper vision.

  • Preventing dry eyes: The GUNNAR wrapped lens design blocks air currents from reaching the eyes, which helps maintain your eyes’ humidity and lubrication.

  • Minimizing glare: A unique lens coating blocks both glare and reflective light, reducing eye strain and minimizing visual distractions.

  • Blocking blue light: GUNNAR lens tints filter and protect eyes from the harsh, artificial blue light from digital screens. GUNNAR lenses come in a range of blue light protection factors (BLPF) to suit your amount of daily screen time.

  • Enhancing sleep: Blue light disrupts melatonin production and throws off circadian rhythms, inhibiting sleep. With the GUNNAR lens blocking blue light, this removes the light’s impact on melatonin production and promotes a natural, uninterrupted rest.

SEE RELATED: Best places to buy blue light glasses

Are all GUNNAR glasses the same?

Just like traditional eyewear, GUNNAR glasses come in a variety of frames, tints and lenses. You can find the best GUNNAR glasses to suit your needs and those of your family members, depending on factors like your eyesight, age and screen habits.

GUNNAR gaming glasses

Devoted gamers surely rank among the highest screen users, so it comes as no surprise that many experience digital eye strain. GUNNAR offers a wide range of gaming glasses to fit almost any gaming experience, including lenses for specific environments as well as accessories that pair well with gaming equipment. The most versatile GUNNAR Optiks gaming glasses include:

  • The Lightning Bolt 360: These glasses come with two lenses — GUNNAR’s standard “amber lens” with blue protection for indoor gaming and its “sun lens” designed for screen use in brightly lit or outdoor environments. This eyewear even includes a strap to enhance comfort when worn with a gaming headset.

  • The ESL Blade: These popular GUNNAR video game glasses boast a design geared toward competitive gamers, with large lenses that sharpen vision while blocking 65% of blue light. Smudge-resistant to ensure clear viewing during long gaming periods, these come with a lightweight, wraparound frame to provide a snug and comfortable fit that won’t distract from the action at hand.  

GUNNAR reading glasses 

More and more, lovers of the written word turn to tablets and computers for their daily dose of news or literature. To make this easy on the eyes, GUNNAR offers several versatile reading glasses with stylish frames for indoor and outdoor use. Check out a couple of popular choices:

  • The Phenom reading glasses: These include a lightweight yet durable aluminum-magnesium frame with a scratch-free lens that blocks both blue light and 100% UV, accommodating reading both inside and outside. It also includes anti-reflective lens coatings to reduce glare.

  • The Attaché: This eyewear sports an elegant look with its round, tortoise frame. It also offers high functionality with both a lightweight design and weight balance to prevent discomfort at the pressure points on the bridge of your nose and the sides of your head. Its lenses also block both blue light and UV rays.

GUNNAR prescription glasses 

Uncorrected vision problems can worsen the impact of digital eye strain and can even be a significant contributing factor. This possibility makes it all the more important to wear corrective eyewear during screen use. To help, GUNNAR offers numerous prescription glasses that solve two issues in one by correcting your vision and protecting against digital eye strain. Favorites include:

  • The GUNNAR Enigma glasses: These offer style and practicality with a bold, modern frame and wide-format lenses that provide a panoramic field of view. These glasses block both blue light and UV rays with a scratch-proof lens and anti-reflective coating. This design serves as a feat of engineering, with a rigid lens mounting area to prevent optics from degrading, as well as a three-barrel hinge construction made with high-tensile steel for top-of-the-line durability.

  • The Emory: This eyewear includes many specialized features seen in GUNNAR eyewear, such as an anti-reflective lens coating, a lightweight design with weight balance and lenses that block blue light and UV rays. All of this comes with elegant, classic frames made with robust and flexible acetate material.

GUNNAR computer glasses 

Relying on a computer throughout the day has become a fact of life for most, so GUNNAR’s wide assortment of computer glasses remains popular among those who wish away screen-time strain on their eyes. You can get a taste of the best GUNNAR glasses for computer users with these favorites:

  • The Emissary: These glasses will make you feel like you’re not wearing eyewear at all, with a thin bottomless frame and lightweight construction. The wide design will cover and protect your eyes while blocking blue light and UV rays, and the minimalist style will ensure this eyewear doesn’t distract you from your tasks on the screen.

  • The GUNNAR Intercept: These rank among the company’s best-selling products, with a trendy, retro frame and an ergonomically balanced design. This eyewear also offers a durable and lightweight construction with rigid lens mounting and nose rests curved for a comfortable fit. It includes anti-reflective lens coating and scratch-proof lenses that block both blue light and UV rays.  

GUNNAR glasses for kids and teens

No doubt, children today spend more time in front of a screen than any prior generation, and constant screen time can impact their developing eyes. The Association of Optometrists reports an increase of nearsightedness, or myopia, among younger generations. While screen time doesn’t serve as the sole cause, researchers believe that performing up-close tasks for long periods, including screen use, contributes to this.

That’s why GUNNAR offers protective glasses for children and young adults:

  • The Cruz: This eyewear comes in size options for multiple age groups, ranging from age 4 to 12 to older kids. With a durable nylon construction and wide frame for full eye coverage, these glasses block both blue light and UV rays. They also include specific features for each age group, such as a narrow fit for teens, and a hingeless, highly flexible frame for kids under 12.

READ MORE: Children and technology: Protecting your child’s eyes

Can you wear GUNNAR glasses all day?

The GUNNAR company assures that its products simply aid in sharpening vision and reducing strain on the eyes — wearing their glasses for consecutive hours, even all day, will not weaken your vision or make you dependent on them.

Where can you buy GUNNAR glasses?

Of course, GUNNAR sells all of its eyewear on its website, complete with a virtual try-on feature that allows you to sample any frames on an uploaded photo of your face. Dell, FramesDirect.com, B&H and Hewlett Packard Enterprise also sell GUNNAR products online.

You can also find GUNNAR glasses in stores worldwide, such as Best Buy and GameStop, if shopping for computer glasses is something you prefer to do away from your screen. You can also shop for GUNNAR products in other retail locations like university bookstores and through authorized eye care professionals.

You don’t need a prescription to purchase GUNNAR glasses.

How else can you protect your eyes during screen time?

As with any aspect of your health, you can take many measures to help protect your eyes during screen time, wearing computer glasses being just one of these measures. Following the tips below will further safeguard your vision.

  • Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away from your screen for 20 seconds, known as the 20-20-20 rule. Setting a timer on your phone can provide an easy reminder.

  • Adjust your computer screen’s brightness, so you don’t feel the need to strain to see or that it’s so bright you give yourself a headache.

  • Avoid using computers and other technology with screens outside or in brightly lit areas unless you’re wearing protective eyewear. The glare on the screen can strain your eye. Also, avoid lights shining directly into your eyes.

  • If your eyes feel dry, use artificial tears to add lubrication.

  • Remember to blink! Try to make a habit of blinking every time you shift in your seat.

  • Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to confirm any uncorrected vision problems that might worsen the digital eye strain that you experience.

Prevent screen-time discomfort

Digital technology consumes an increasing amount of our lives, and preventing computer vision syndrome’s discomfort with GUNNAR glasses will surely make your screen time more enjoyable and productive.

Take simple steps to protect your eyes, so the next time you wrap up your screen time, you can shut down your device with your eyes still feeling sharp, clear and comfortable.

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