Knowledge workers and serious gamers will tell you starring at a bright screen for hours at a time takes its toll (eye strain, headaches, etc.) If you work in an office environment will little natural light and lots of white artificial light then the situation becomes even worse.
About 2 months ago, I noticed that my eyes were dry, I was getting more frequent head aches and generally felt worse from wear after spending most of the day starring at a screen. I needed a solution and after a couple of days I stumbled on a company called Gunnar Optiks. Gunnar Optiks sells glasses specially designed to make using a screen gentler on the eyes.
They have a bunch of models depending on your needs but at the end of the day, they all share the same purpose in life. So I picked up a pair at my local Best Buy (GUNNAR Optiks MLG Legend Gaming Eyewear) and have been using them for 2 months (5 days a week, 10 hours a day).
Do Gunnar Optiks glasses work?
Did they improve my overall computer use experience? Yes!
The build quality of the glasses are decent. It is solid enough to last a good while but nothing to write home about. The MLG Legend was very light so even though I didn’t normally wear glasses, it was easy to keep them on and not be bothered. I find the designs modern and attractive which is important. You can wear these and not stick out.
The main attraction are the technologies the company claims make the lenses unique : amber iONik lens tints, fRACTYL lens geometry, diAMIX lens material, and i-Fi lens coatings. Each technology is supposed to make your experience more enjoyable by reducing harsh glare, improving the geometry when looking at a close screen, keeping eyes more humid, etc. As a consumer, you really can’t test any of these claims so I won’t spend too much time talking about them. The real question is does it help? Was it a good purchase (using my own money)? The answer is Yes and Yes.
The slightly yellowish tint improved contrast and reduced the harshness of computer screens and artificial office lights. Whether it’s the tint or the geometry, something in these glasses also seems to reduce glare.
As good as the glasses are, there are some shortcomings that I wanted to highlight.
The glasses attract and retain smudges, oil and dust. I really wish they had some kind of coating to repels these. The kit came with a microfiber carrying case that you can use to clean the lens but I found it ineffective. The only way to clean the lenses was with a lens liquid and a good lens cleaning cloth.
Although the glasses are of decent quality, I was expecting slightly better built frames for an $80 pair of glasses. Granted you are paying for all that lens technology but still….
Overall I enjoyed using the Gunnar Optiks glasses and found myself using them every day. This certainly isn’t a necessity; after all I have been using computers for many years without these just fine but it definitely improves your wellbeing.
The main question is “Are they worth $80?” and this is a difficult question to answer. If you have gotten to the point where you constantly have tired eyes, dry eyes or headaches after using a monitor for a couple of hours, then you should run out and buy a pair. If you aren’t afflicted with one of the above symptoms, my recommendation is more muted. As much as I liked them and found myself using them every day, I isn’t easy to justify spending $80 if you don’t have an immediate direct need.