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Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Jun 24, 2010

Review – Gunnar Optiks

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How many hours per day do you find yourself staring at a screen of some sort? Be it a computer monitor or a TV, many people spend several hours a day looking at one. Personally, I will easily spend 10-12 hours a day doing so. I’m either working, watching a movie or playing video games, which takes its toll on my eyes. I do my best to take breaks to get away from the screens, but even that doesn’t prevent my eyes from hurting by the end of the day. So what can I do to help? The guys at Gunnar believe they have the answer.

I’ve seen Gunnar’s products before, but never really took them seriously. What are some tinted glasses going to do for me? After talking with one of the co-founders of the company, I decided I’d put them to the test. As a gamer and a working professional that spends most of his day staring a monitor, I figured that it would be worth it.

Looks

It’s hard to judge the glasses by their looks, mostly because there are so many different styles. I ended up with the Wing glasses in a Mercury/Red color. I don’t recommend the red, as the shade they use looks more like a pink. That aside, the overall look of the glasses is great. The mercury is a silver metallic color, which matches my Macs quite nicely. They are definitely some of the best-looking glasses I’ve seen.

Comfort

I’ve been fortunate enough to not need to wear glasses, so it takes some getting used to. After wearing them for a couple of days, I found them to be perfectly comfortable. I wouldn’t say that I would forget that I was wearing them, but having them on was no longer a distraction of any sort. I was also rather surprised at how comfortable it was to wear headphones with them on. I did not notice any discomfort while wearing both the glasses and my headset. I tend to wear a headset for long periods when gaming, so this was a relief.

Do they work?

It’s hard to judge just how well the glasses work. Sometimes I won’t notice my eyes hurting for days, while other times it’s a constant feeling throughout the day. I’ve had the Gunnars for a little less than a month now, and have been wearing them for most of that time. I had trouble remembering to put them on for the first week or so, but have been much better about it over the two or three weeks. I would say that my eyes do seem to hurt less when wearing the glasses consistently.

Do my eyes ever hurt? Sure, I don’t think that’s something that will ever go away as long as I continue with this lifestyle. However, I’ve noticed it happening less and less while wearing these glasses, which pleases me. Anything to make the stresses of daily life a bit easier.

Will they improve my gaming skills?

Gunnars seem popular among some of the professional gamers of the world, which always sparks the question of whether or not they improve your gaming. I’d love to say that my accuracy and reaction times have magically improved, but that’s not true. Glasses (that aren’t actually improving your vision) aren’t going to improve your abilities. What they can do is reduce eye strain, and help you stay at the top of your game for longer. Again, it’s not something I can accurately measure, but I can say that during the final hours of my occasional gaming marathons, I’m not worried about rubbing my eyes so much.

Conclusion

It’s hard to say whether or not these glasses are worth it for most people. If you only spend a couple of hours a day working on a computer and/or playing games, I really wouldn’t advise you to spend the money on them. However, if you spend most of your time staring at a computer monitor or TV screen, then it’s worth looking into. They start out at around $80 (the style I chose goes for $120) which isn’t a bad price. Personally, I’m happy with mine and wouldn’t hesitate to suggest them to someone else in my situation.

As a side note, I personally do not wear prescription lenses. However, those that do are still able to order their own Gunnars. You can contact them with your specific lens needs and they will craft a pair specifically to suit you. I am not sure how much this adds to the overall cost of the glasses.

[ Gunnar ]

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