I've owned a pair of GUNNAR Optiks for a couple of months now, and figured it would probably be a good time for a review. For those unaware, GUNNAR Optiks are specially designed eyewear for long exposure computer use. The claims on the main site are:
- Eyes are more moist.
- Headaches are reduced.
- Blurry vision is reduced.
- Eyes are no longer fatigued.
They claim these points are met by the curvature of the eyewear and the unique color of the yellow lens. I'll review each individiually.
The curvature of the glasses brings the lens in more closely to the face. The GUNNARS claim is that your eye produces natural moisture that humidifies the immediate air surrounding the eye. By bringing the lens in more closely to the face, that humidity is trapped in the area surrounding the eye, preventing the eye from drying out. So someone who does not wear glasses regularly, I was skeptical of this claim. However, after wearing them for 8 hours per day, every day, I can most certainly feel that my eyes are much more moist than without. People who regularly wear glasses are probably already aware of this. In fact, I've been fighting allergies this season, and my eyes have been abnormally moist. Wearing the GUNNARS has actually complicated the problem, to where I am constantly wiping my eyes to remove the excessive tearing.
The yellow color tint of the lens claims to neutralize the high-intensity blues that artifical light provide, such as flourescent and LED bulbs common in computer monitors. This actually didn't surprise me all that much, as the lens of your eye yellows as you get older due to UV radiation from the sun. On the color wheel, yellow is complementary to blue. Complementary colors of light, when combined correctly, produce white light. So, using a yellow tint to neutralize a blue light, providing a more balanced color spectrum is something photograhpers have known for a long time.
Due to the yellow tinting of the glasses, the claim is that headaches, fatiqued eyes and blurry vision are reduced or eliminated. I was highly skeptical of these claims, but after wearing them for a full day, I have noticed how much more "comfortable" my eyes feel at the end of the day. Indeed, I do not have the typical eye fatique that I normally have when driving home. I've never encountered headaches working in front of a computer all day, but I do get blurry vision, and the GUNNARS have most certainly reduced it. Even my wife has noticed how less grumpy and fatiqued I am when coming home after a full day of work.
After wearing the GUNNARS for the past couple of months, I've concluded that they do indeed hold up to the claims they make. There is something there to the science behind the eyewear. In fact, I've come to prefer wearing them when watching movies and television as well. Even when sitting in front of this 17" monitor writing this post without wearing the glasses, I am beginning to notice eye strain. I do feel like I look a bit kooky when walking around the office with them on my face, but they work, and they work well.
All isn't positive, however. The GUNNARS I purchased were from a friend who was getting migrains as a result of wearing them. The pair is non-prescription, so other than wearing typical sunglasses or ski goggles, I don't understand how changing the tint of what his eye sees would cause a migrain, but it was certainly the case for him. For myself, my life has been improved, not degraded by wearing the GUNNARS.
If someone were to ask me if I recommend wearing GUNNARS for gaming or general computing, it would certainly be in the affirmative.