When one of our readers asked that we review a pair of Gunnar Optiks revolutionary computer glasses, my first question was “What are computer glasses?” Once I had researched a bit, I was slightly taken aback at the idea that I, with my 20/20 vision, would ever need a pair of these “computer glasses” that supposedly reduce eye strain, and even make the images on my computer screen better, brighter, and clearer.
This is a little crazy, I thought. There is no way a pair of non-prescription glasses are going to make that kind of difference, I scoffed.
Gunnar Optiks Emissary: Easing Eye Strain You Didn’t Know You Had
Fortunately for me, I was wrong. Regardless of how great your eyesight is, or how well you think you see, everyone who sits in front of a screen for hours on end will experience eye strain at some level or another. In fact, as a person who sits in front of a computer for a living and games heavily as a hobby, I feel as though I am the perfect example of someone who was experiencing eye strain and really had no idea.
To put the Gunnars to the test, I decided to start early and wear them all day while at work, and then wear them again while gaming at home later in the evening. When I first received the review model, I was worried about wearing some hideous gamer glasses all day, in front of my co-workers. When I took them out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised that they looked a lot like regular eye glasses. In fact, they were quite attractive. With a sleek, sexy frame design, the only tell tale feature are the yellow tinted lenses.
When I first put the glasses on, I could immediately tell a difference in the way my computer screen looked. The glare was gone immediately and everything on-screen looked crisper and clearer than normal. But why? I pulled out the leaflet that came with the eye wear and got a little more familiar with the science behind them. While they do have a prescription program, the model I reviewed was of the non-prescription nature. The yellow-tinted lenses, however, are actually quite spectacular. Here is why they work:
- FRACTYL lens geometry solves the problem of a low screen usage blink rate by trapping humidity close to the eye and protecting it from air currents that could potential try the eye out.
- DIAMIX lens material doesn’t force the wearer to choose between durability and clarity. This special material is as optically pure as it is strong and degradation resistant.
- IONIK tints help filter out excessive high-energy visible light, making the overall result warmer and easier to look at for an extended period of time. This aids in visual recovery and helps eliminate any “after image effects” that users may experience.
- I-FI lens coatings take care of any reflections and glare from both sides of the lens, effectively reducing
Gunnar Opticks even has a helpful video that breaks down the science behind their lenses:
But, Do They Really Work?
While the Gunnar Optiks Emissary model definitely made things look better on my computer screen, I kept wondering how I was supposed to know if they were really working. By the time I got home, still wearing the Gunnars, I realized that I did not have the normal, dull, behind-the eye headache that I usually have by the end of a work day. While I generally credit this headache to what I thought was a need for glasses, I am now re-thinking that assumption. I can’t say that Gunnar Optiks can cure your ailments, but I can say that eye strain-induced headaches may become a thing of the past. I continued wearing the glasses throughout several hours of gaming on both PC and console. By the end of my day, I still had yet to experience the usual ‘tired eye’ feeling. It was refreshing to have avoided the late afternoon eye-strain headache and I will be more than pleased to wear them again if it means protecting my eyes and, subsequently, eliminating my need for Tylenol.
As for professionals who swear by Gunnars, the list is not short by any means. Professional gamers and eSports athletes everywhere are singing the praises of Gunnar Optiks and their game changing (pun totally intended) eye wear. Jordan Gilbert, who you may also know as “nOthing”, plays Counter-Strike professionally and has, on more than one occasion, been vocal about his love for Gunnar Optiks:
In game, GUNNARS have multiple positive effects. The improved contrast makes it easier to spot the silhouette of enemies in dark spots, especially at distances. It also help’s when I’m trying to see someone through a smoke grenade, normally I would have to squint very hard to attempt to spot movement, but with GUNNARS my eyes have a noticeably easier time focusing in on micro movements.
Jordan isn’t the only pro gamer who has fallen for Gunnars. Geoff Robinson, also known as iNcontroL, who plays StarCraft 2 for pro-team Evil Geniuses has also discovered the benefits of using Gunnars during matches, as well as casually:
If you’re serious about your game, Gunnar’s are worth the investment. Both the short term advantages, like increased contrast for better spotting things on the screen, and the long term advantages, like reduced eye strain, make it an easy choice.
The Bottom Line
I have to admit I was skeptical at first. Despite all of the hoopla over Gunnar Optiks in the gaming community, I really thought that there was no way that eye wear could make such a huge difference with PC work and play. After using the Gunnar Optiks Emissary model glasses for about 18 hours straight, I freely admit that my assumptions were way off base. In fact, I am pretty ecstatic to have pinpointed the source of my annoying end-of-work-day headaches. Even if you don’t experience any immediately evident effects of staring at a screen all day, the fact still remains that it’s bad for your eye health overall, eventually resulting in Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). I would recommend Gunnar Optiks eye wear to anyone who sits in front of a screen for more than a few minutes each day. It is highly likely that these glasses will alleviate symptoms that you didn’t even know you had.