Chances are, if you are reading this right now, you are not doing so on a stack of papers you just printed out. Yeah, I said stack of papers because this is going to be more than one page. The subject is eye health, and those affected by poor eye health might surprise you, or it might not. Really it depends on how much you already know. Chances are you are reading this on a digital device, a device (along with many other such devices) you spend a lot of time staring at.
You are staring at your iPhone, your iPad, computer monitor, HD TV and so on. In this era of mobile and static visual technology, we spend a lot of time looking into the back-lit screens of our devices. It didn’t always used to be that way. When we were younger, the only back-lit thing was the television screen. Even the primitive games of the pre-Nintendo era weren’t back-lit. If you had a mobile phone, aside from it weighing sixteen pounds, had an LCD that reminded you of a calculator screen. Then things changed. Now we are putting constant stress on our eyes. The thing is, we’re not the only ones.
Our children are putting undue stress on their eyes. How many of you allow your children to play with your iPhone or iPad? Of course they play video games, and watch television so add to that the strain of looking at a small screen. It’s something that we take for granted and rarely think about – eye health. Even those of us who have worn glasses since they were six (like me.) It’s something I never thought about until recently, then something changed.
I fixed the problem.
I eliminated the afternoon headaches from staring at two monitors all day long. I eliminated the fatigue and strain I was putting on my eyes from staring into the window of digital devices all day. I eliminated the almost daily need for three Excedrin in the afternoon.
I did all that by wearing Gunnars. Before I get into what those are (though if you click the link you’ll see) and why they are important to eye health, let me go back to your kids. Think about how much time they are spending in front of digital devices without eye protection. You may think it’s not needed, and you may be wrong. An estimated 125 million Americans suffer from what is now commonly referred to as digital eye fatigue or computer vision syndrome, according to the American Optometric Association.
We spend so much time and money worrying about their eating habits, their physical safety outside the house, their safety inside the house, what type of television shows they are watching, keeping them safe from harm and so on – yet we tend to ignore what we are doing to their little eyeballs when we hand them an iPad, after doing the same damage to ourselves. Keep in mind, for children under six, their eye muscles are still developing. Staring at a digital screen can hinder that development.
Says Carlsbad Optometrist Jeffrey Anschel, “People spend long periods focusing on something close to their face. Eye muscles tends to lock into that one position, which is tiring and can push the eye down the path to becoming farsighted. Meanwhile, the eye has to deal with light from conflicting sources, such as sunlight that is much brighter than the computer screen. There’s also glare from the light shining into the eyes. And the angle of view for the computer screen, which is straight ahead, isn’t desirable. People tend to focus better at objects when looking down, such as reading a book.”
Which brings me back to Gunnars. Anschel was a consultant for Gunnars when they first came into existence, lending his years of expertise in computer vision syndrome. What they came up with, the glasses that have changed the way I view the world, is the long term solution to digital eye strain. Slap a pair of these glasses on yourself, on your child, and you’ve covered a very important part of your life. The part that stares at your iPhone all day long playing Angry Birds.
Speaking about Gunnars existence, they literally started in someone’s garage. Co-founder Jennifer Michelson was tired of hearing her husband complain about headaches and eye strain from staring at the computer. With her young son Gunnar in mind, she along with co-founder Joe Croft (the scientific mind) and some savvy investors, created Gunnars to protect her husbands eyes, her sons eyes and your eyes.
Gunnars aren’t just your run of the mill glasses. First off, they are cheaper. I’ll get this bit out of the way. They’ll run you around $100 for a non-prescription pair, around $200 for a script added. They were able to do my script, and I’m half freaking blind.
Gunnars aren’t some gimmick glasses, like hunting glasses or blue blockers. There is real science behind the construction and framing of the lenses. Everything has a purpose and a reason. This is bon-a-fide eye technology.
Here’s what Gunnars I-Amp technology is all about; the lenses are yellow. This freaks some people out, but bear with me. Yellow tinted lenses make images appear clearer and sharper by adding contrast and filtering out blue light. The lens is also shaped in a way to pre-focus the light into the eyes. This keeps the eyes from doing all the hard work, which immediately reduces strain. When you consider that, who gives a flying shit if they are yellow?
Furthermore, the yellow also holds a purplish iridescence on the lens, which is an anti-glare filter. This allows light from the digital device in, but keeps out reflected light from other sources – like that florescent light over your head. And the way the glasses are designed, to keep the lenses close to the face creates a “microclimate” that keeps away dry air. This keeps your eyes moist and delicious for hungry zombies. I mean, it reduces squinting and helps maintain a closer to normal rate of blinking. Did you just blink when you read that? I did. All of this together helps reduce eye strain and fatigue and keeps your eyes healthy and ready to download that next app.
Look, I’m not normally someone to just shill a product like a fiend, but these things have changed my freaking life. It’s like looking at the world through HD cameras. No more afternoon headaches, no more eye strain. Like I said, I’ve been wearing glasses a long freaking time. My last pair was $600, these were $200. Gunnars are aimed at the 18-40 year old, computer professional or gamer demographic, but demographics are just for tracking numbers.
The truth is, if you spend more than 6 hours a day staring at a digital screen, you need to get Gunnars. That means all you mom bloggers getting headaches late in the day. Sure, the kids may have something to do with it – but not all.
And that’s another thing, there is no reason not to slap a pair of Gunnars on your kids skulls. Think about the investment for their eyes. A hundred bucks is nothing compared to say, what you spend in a week on Starbucks or Lunchables. Our children are growing up in a completely different age of technology than us, there are going to be side effects and after effects that we won’t know about until our kids are grown up and the problems are documented. Gunnars aims to be proactive in this approach. Why wait for your kid to end up with eye problems because of staring into your iPad?
Isn’t parenting about doing the best for your kids, by them? Keeping them healthy and safe in all aspects of their beings? We buy them shoes to protect their feet, gloves and jackets to keep them warm in winter, why not glasses to keep their eyes protected as well? There is inherent logic here, you can’t deny it. This might sound like one long sales pitch to you, but if you know me, you know that rarely do I ever promote something like this. If you buy them do I get a piece of the action? Perhaps. Should that dissuade you from buying them? Hell no. In fact, based on how awesome I am, it should be a selling point.
For you driving adults, Gunnars also makes sunglasses. Why is this relevant? Because they are non-polarized. That means you can see all that fancy glowing shit on your cars’ dashboard with no problems. In my car all I have is a clock that is wrong half the time, and a tape deck with no fancy glowing buttons. My 8-track player broke. Seriously.
Gunnars are available for regular non-script folks and in prescription. They are also available at some local retailers like Best Buy. Check out Gunnars.com or on Twitter @gunnaroptiks for more info. Tell ‘em I sent ya.