About a year ago, my husband found some Gunnar blue-light filtering glasses for cheap on MassDrop, and got me a pair. We had been hearing about blue light and how it affects sleep, as well as the strain of computer screens on our eyes when we are on a computer all day for work.
The glasses were the Micron style, non-prescription, and yellow-tinted. I have to say I didn’t love them—they seemed to wrap my whole upper face like goggles, and the yellow tint made the screen look dirty—but the effect on my eyes was too significant to deny. I had previously been suffering from headaches, and they just stopped. I also noticed that when I looked at my phone or computer without the protection of the glasses, my eyes felt tired and almost fuzzy. I was addicted!
I decided to get myself some OTHER computer glasses, with a prescription, clear, and in smaller frames. And I love them. Absolutely worth the money. No headaches, less stress on my eyes, and they add a small routine to my day—when the glasses go on, I work, when they come off, I’m done. This simple physical separation makes it easier to ignore Slack messages during my lunch break and deal with them when I’m “back at work.” Working from home, this distinction helps keep me from thinking about work all the time.
So now, on a family vacation (no working allowed!), I did not bring them. Makes sense, in theory. But when I do have to use the computer to make travel itinerary changes, or, GASP, do a smidge of work to keep my clients’ projects from getting stuck in my absence, I really miss them. The laptop screen feels loud and uncomfortable to my eyes. Next vacation, I’m definitely bringing them.
Choosing Computer Glasses
If you have Eye Care as part of your health insurance, then definitely see what your Optometrist offers, but you may find great deals (and more attractive options) from Costco or Gunnar directly.
I discovered pretty quickly that I did NOT like the amber tint of my Gunnar Micron glasses, but I think for some it may be a feature. I work on design and UI for websites, so that off-color just doesn’t work for me, but while coding, I was fine, since the yellow tint eased the contrast of the black-on-white. Gunnar, as well as other providers, have a clear or “Crystalline” option.
I also learned quickly that I did not like goggle-like glasses, and I have a large head, so I am way better off with a different style. The Micron full-wrap feel is probably perfect if you have a large curved monitor or multiple large monitors. I would recommend choosing a style that looks like glasses or sunglasses you already have, especially when ordering online.
Prescription or Not?
My prescription computer glasses are NOT my full prescription. I wear my contacts and then the glasses. They are a mild prescription that adjusts the screen’s perception to my eyes, giving another level of eye protection. Since you can send your prescription to Gunnar or other producers, I recommend getting one from your Optometrist at your next visit.
Even if you don’t get computer glasses
Be sure to give your eyes a break every now and then when you’re working or gaming for long periods of time. My Optometrist advised looking into the distance for 20 seconds without computer glasses on as an eye break.