If you spend a large part of your day looking at screens — like your smartphone, laptop, and TV — you may wonder if they can affect your eye health.
If so, you’re not alone. For example, blue light emitted from screens is a popular topic in the eye care field.
Many people report feeling less eye strain when wearing blue light glasses. But so far, medical research has not conclusively determined if blue-light-blocking glasses help protect the eyes.
If you’re looking to reduce eye strain from screen use or want your prescription eyeglasses to include blue-light-blocking lenses, take note of Gunnar. Here’s a summary of the company and their blue light glasses.
Gunnar Optiks, or simply Gunnar, is an online retailer that launched in 2003. They sell glasses made with blue light lens technology.
Their amber-tinted lenses are designed to block blue light, minimize glare, and increase visual contrast. Some options also have +0.2 to +3.0 diopters of focusing power. Combined, these features can reduce muscle strain from the long-term use of digital devices, the company states.
Gunnar’s products are tailored to gamers and people who spend hours of their day looking at screens. In other words, the glasses may be suitable for most people.
Blue light with shorter wavelengths of around 450 nanometers — like the light emitted from digital screens — is believed to cause issues like eye strain, headaches, impaired vision, dry eyes, and poor sleep. It can also increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Gunnar claims to address these issues with tinted lenses that filter some blue light and increase contrast perception. This can lead to improved clarity and less strain on your eyes. Plus, an anti-reflective coating is meant to increase light transmission for a crisper image.
Still, some customers report relief from eye strain symptoms when using blue-light-blocking glasses — one of these customers being one of Gunnar’s founders, Matt Michelsen.
Gunnar offers a range of blue-light-blocking glasses and sunglasses with or without a prescription. All of their lens tints feature 100 percent ultraviolet protection.
Frame designs come in oval, rectangle, round, and square options, and they’re made of materials like acetate, steel, and aluminum-magnesium alloy.
Gunnar offers four different focusing power options:
- Natural: 0
- Gunnar-Focus: +0.2
- Reading: +1.0 to +3.0
- Prescription: customized up to +/-6.00
Gunnar also offers clear and amber transition lenses for people who wear prescription glasses and want both indoor and outdoor protection from digital screens.
Gunnar offers a range of options, so you’ll likely find lenses that suit your screen use.
If you’re worried your new glasses won’t suit your style, not to worry. The website also boasts a virtual try-on feature so you can see what you’ll look like wearing them. Simply upload a photo of yourself to get started.
Gunnar’s nonprescription glasses range from $39.99 to $99.99, with free shipping within the United States on all orders over $49.99.
If you require prescription glasses, expect to pay about $169 for single vision and $269 for progressives. Gunnar prescription glasses are covered by most major vision insurance providers.
Now to the fun part: shopping.
If you’re looking for glasses with or without a prescription, click the Shop tab to select. Then, start browsing to find which glasses match your style. There are many lens tint, shape, and frame options available. You can even sort by popularity to see which looks are selling well.
Note that the gaming and computer categories include many of the same glasses, so don’t get caught up in the names. These categories mostly identify which glasses are compatible with audio headsets.
If ordering prescription lenses, make sure to have your prescription from your eye doctor on-hand, including your pupillary distance, or PD.
The delivery time depends on whether or not your glasses are prescription.
Nonprescription orders typically take 5 to 7 business days to process, and prescription orders up to 21 business days. Once shipped, your order should reach you in another 3 to 5 business days.
If you’re unhappy with the fit of your new nonprescription glasses, Gunnar offers a 30-day guarantee to replace them. They also give you 30 days from the date of purchase to receive a refund.
Unfortunately, all sales are considered final on prescription eyeglasses.
Gunnar has a strong reputation, especially within the gaming community, where blue-light-blocking glasses are popular.
The company’s website uses SSL encryption, ensuring that your data remains private. Plus, the website has been praised by customers for its ease of use.
The company has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with more than 3,400 reviews to date.
Many customers report liking the sturdy build of the glasses and that wearing them alleviates some of the discomforts of dry, strained eyes. Some reviewers state that their glasses took a few days of getting used to.
A handful of customers mention they were unhappy with the fit of the glasses, claiming they make it difficult to see the screen.
Though Gunnar’s business model is dedicated to producing blue-light-blocking glasses, other eyeglass companies offer similar filters.
For example, online eyeglass retailer Warby Parker offers blue-light-blocking lenses for an additional $50. For a more affordable option, Zenni Optical offers their own blue light lens technology called Blokz, which starts at $16.95.
If you’re looking for glasses that block blue light from digital screens, Gunnar offers a thoughtfully designed product with many tint and frame options to choose from.
If you need prescription eyeglasses with blue light protection, and if you have a strong prescription, you may want to explore a more traditional eyeglass retailer or visit your eye doctor’s office.
Johanna Sorrentino is a writer, editor, and wayfarer. Her appetite for empowering information and great storytelling is matched only by her appetite for cheese and chocolate. Learn more about her at johannasorrentino.com.