Blue Light is Destroying Your Kid’s Eyes!

“Imagine it’s 2035 and you get a call from your son who proceeds to inform you that, at the young age of 32, he’s going blind as a result of macular degeneration.”

As dramatic and heavy-hitting as this opening quote from a recent article on GoodMenProject.com is, it’s still very possible. Macular degeneration is traditionally a disease that affects the middle-aged and elderly. It is not a disease that hits young, vibrant people in the midst of their careers, just starting a family, and settling into their first home. Essentially, as kids grow, their eyes are developing until they reach their late-teens so that means they’re more susceptible to damage. During their youngest years, blue light can travel right passed the cornea and directly hit the retina much more easily than when kids’ eyes have fully developed. As more and more studies come out showing just how digitally wired we all are and at earlier ages than ever, the increased exposure to blue light is leading to multiple, long-term issues including macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness for adults over 50.

If you’re a parent, though, think about it. How often do your kids stare at a phone, tablet, or computer? When was the last time you saw them not glued to a screen? More than ever, kids are turning to blue light-emitting devices for entertainment, information, or just because they need to be distracted or occupied. Fussy kids at the dining room table when family’s in town is frustrating, but some Super Mario Run or Pokémon Go oughta fix things! Right?

As noted in the article, a Nielsen study done way back in 2012 found that over 70% of kids under the age of 12 are regularly using tablets for gaming and learning. With how advanced and inexpensive technology has become in the past 5 years, we’re sure that number is closer to 80% by now. What’s more, the Journal of Pediatrics found:

  • 20% of one-year-olds own a tablet
  • 28% of two-year-olds can navigate a digital device without help
  • 28% of parents say they use a digital device to put their kids to sleep

As we have pointed out in previous blogs, blue light is terrible for you. It causes you to lose sleep, may cause your metabolism to decrease, and damages retinal tissue in your eye. Why on earth would you let kids spend more time on something that can wreck their visual future let alone have a device at the ready as a bedtime tradition? If getting your kids’ eyes off screens and staring at something outdoors is too difficult, then it’s recommended you protect them as much as you can. Most devices now come with a blue light-manipulating app or setting, and while those are a good start, they don’t go far enough. Taking breaks, the 20-20-20 rule, and blinking more are also good habits to form, but in the end, something shielding their eyes is the biggest and ideal step to take.

GUNNAR has numerous styles to choose from, but for those with smaller heads, Vertex, Strike, Phantom, Sheadog, and Micron are some of our narrower designs.

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GUNNAR Steams into Convention Season

The 2017 convention season is starting to pick up so we thought we’d share a bit about the upcoming events where you can find GUNNAR. There’s not much else in this world that gives us all the nerd-chills as much as hanging out in some foreign city, seeing friends, checking out the latest games and equipment, and eating a lot of unhealthy food. This year is no exception and we’re super pumped to see everyone’s faces at the various shows we’re planning to attend.

Up first, Team GUNNAR will be in Austin, Texas, for Rooster Teeth Expo which goes from July 7 to 9. Aside from everything else associated with this awesome show, we’re also very excited to pay Via 313 another visit for their incredible pizza! After RTX, we’ll be right in our own backyard for some more shenanigans at San Diego Comic-Con from July 20 to 23. We can’t tell you what we’re doing specifically, but you might want to stretch and be ready to run. Once SDCC has passed, we’ll be turning around and heading north for DEF CON. Calling Vegas home for many years, this is the quintessential show for all things hacking, digital espionage, and coding. It takes place July 27-30. Following DEF CON, and for those who are in the ergonomics industry, we’ll be heading back to Vegas to once again attend ErgoExpo August 22-25. This is a bit more of a laid-back show mostly because it’s all about being comfortable at work, and we’re perfectly okay with that.

Summer will be winding down after these shows have passed, but that doesn’t mean we will! After ErgoExpo, we’ll be in Seattle for PAX West from September 1 to 4. Great breweries, delicious sea food, and of course, some of the biggest gaming enthusiasts in the world – we can’t wait! Finally, winding down the season will be TwitchCon, and this year is shaping up to be the best one yet. It’ll be in Long Beach and takes place October 20-22. Swing by our booth to snap some selfies with us!

We hope to see many of you at these shows! Don’t forget, it is the Summer season so jump on gunnar.com to save 30% on GUNNAR sunglasses before you head out – 50% off if you also purchase a pair with amber lenses.

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Steps You Can Take to Combat Computer Vision Syndrome

We’ve long been touting the necessity of protecting your eyes because it’s why our company exists in the first place. Well, now the prestigious and well-respected Reader’s Digest has joined the fight. They recently jumped on board and shared some ways in which you can keep your eye balls safe. As Reader’s Digest noted, “When you stare at computers (or devices like smartphones and tablets) for too long, the muscles in your eyes have to work overtime. And ‘like any muscle, if you’re constantly using it, it can break down,’” says James Stringham, PhD, research professor at the University of Georgia. Given the amount of time we’re all spending staring at a digital device, it makes sense that one of the biggest publications of all time would want to help spread the recommendation.

Steps you can take include eating leafy greens, corn, and orange peppers, practicing the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at something 20+ feet away for 20 seconds), taking supplements if leafy greens aren’t your thing, limiting your exposure to artificial blue light, and, surprisingly enough, wearing reading and blue-blocking glasses. Wouldn’t you know it, we have those!

If you’re looking for blue-blocking readers, you can find GUNNAR styles here. Otherwise, check out our latest style designed by Publish: the new Infinite.

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University of Utah Offers eSports Scholarships

The world of esports received a huge boost thanks to the University of Utah. The news was so big, even the New York Times reported on it. Though there are already smaller universities who have varsity teams, Utah now becomes the first in the Power Five to step up and offer its students esports scholarships. Qualifying members of the University of Utah’s varsity team will receive a $1,000 scholarship, and will compete against other collegiate teams in League of Legends. At some point in the future, the Utes hope to expand their program to include more varsity teams that will compete in additional games.

Okay, so $1,000 isn’t a ton of money and won’t make much of a dent in tuition costs. There are other schools out there offering a hundred times that and even more, but it’s absolutely a massive step in the right direction for collegiate esports. This will surely cause more NCAA D1 schools to rethink their involvement in what is now a world-wide phenomenon. Credit where credit is due, too, and let’s not forget who got this movement started: our friends at Tespa.

Some of our most popular esports styles are PPK and MLG Phantom, both in stock and on sale right now.

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GUNNAR Celebrates Its Visionaries with The Movement Campaign

CARLSBAD, Calif. – April 7, 2017 – GUNNAR Optiks®, the world’s leading creator and manufacturer of computer eyewear, proudly announces the next phase of GUNNAR’s existence by launching a new 2017 marketing campaign. Expanding on the original My_Digital Life campaign that illustrated the need for eyewear due to the digital lifestyles of GUNNAR Visionaries such as 50 Cent, Adam Sesler, DJ Skee, and Dyrus – GUNNAR launches The Movement: a campaign spotlighting top influencers and why they choose to protect their eyes.

Wearing GUNNAR eyewear as part of each Visionary’s daily arsenal to do what they do is no longer just recommended by medical professionals, it has become a movement. A pure movement to improve their lives, their performance, and their health. The new campaign features some of GUNNAR’s biggest Visionaries who enjoy incredible success thanks in part to their loyal and dedicated use of GUNNAR eyewear. A GUNNAR Visionary is a successful influencer who relies on the use of digital devices to master their career of choice. Starting with professional gamers, streamers, content creators, hackers, and digital artists, these Visionaries are shown wearing their frame style of choice while acknowledging that their accomplishments have been reached in part by protecting their eyes along the way.

The Movement campaign will kick off with legendary influencers like Mari “AtomicMari” Takahashi, Josh “Hydro74” Smith, Joseph “Swiftor” Alminawi, Scott “Highsage” Scheferman, and Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios. New Visionaries will be added throughout the year.

“This is a great campaign that recognizes the influencers who have helped create The Movement that has been a huge part in building the GUNNAR brand,” said GUNNAR President, Scott Sorensen. “Our Visionaries are a true testimonial to GUNNAR Optiks’ success in preventing digital eye strain and helping driven people achieve their goals.”

In 2016, GUNNAR focused on better educating the world about the issues of digital eye strain and how GUNNAR can help their daily digital lives. Through these marketing efforts, professionals in the video game, eSports, cyber security, and traditional athletic worlds jumped on board both in an effort to enhance their work while improving their performance. And from this, the GUNNAR Movement was fortified. Organically, it was no longer just about having eye protection, it was also about joining the growing number of wildly successful professionals in all fields who rely upon GUNNAR Optiks to help them dominate their respective goals. Using superior imagery and straightforward testimonials, GUNNAR is now focused on enhancing and spreading the message to everyone. It’s now time to join The Movement of believers who have made their lives better. Succeed on!

GUNNAR is the only patented computer eyewear recommended by doctors to protect and enhance your vision. GUNNAR’s premium computer eyewear defends eyes against short and long-term effects of digital eye strain due to exposure to digital screens, and harmful blue light. Each of GUNNAR’s models are forged with high-strength, lightweight frame materials to provide long-lasting durability and optical stability.

 

About GUNNAR®

Founded in 2006, GUNNAR Optiks®, LLC designs and engineers Computer Eyewear to protect and enhance vision using revolutionary technology solutions. GUNNAR introduced the Technology Eyewear category in 2008, and pioneered the only patented lens technology to reduce digital eye strain and fatigue issues associated with computer use. GUNNAR is a privately-held company headquartered in Carlsbad, California. For more information, visit gunnar.com.

 

Media Contact

GUNNAR Optiks, LLC
Scott Sorensen, President
pr@gunnars.com

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Get the Quality Sleep You Need

You have probably noticed that we’ve placed a lot of effort on explaining the damaging effects of artificial blue light, and about how our lenses block the ideal amount to protect your eyes. Our lens tint is scientifically formulated to provide your eyes and body with a natural light experience, and protect your eyes from digital eye strain. Over the years, we’ve also been working with professional athletic trainers and the players they keep conditioned. And while this revelation isn’t exactly exciting at face value, what impacted us was how important a good night’s sleep is for these million dollar machines and the trainers who are charged with keeping them in tip-top shape.

We felt the growing concern about getting quality sleep would be a great opportunity for us to segue the conversation to the science behind how GUNNAR glasses can help. Yes, we understand that some of you may be skeptical, and we prepared this article with you in mind. So, let’s go step-by-step into what’s going on in physiological terms.

A) Understanding the basics. Blue light is everywhere. In its natural form, your body uses blue light from the sun to regulate your natural sleep and wake cycles which is known as your circadian rhythm. Blue light also helps increase alertness, improves reaction times, boosts your mood, and increases the feeling of wellbeing.

Visible light is a form of electromagnetic radiation that carries energy. The shorter the wavelength, the stronger the energy. Because blue light has the shortest wavelength in the visible light spectrum, it carries the highest amount of energy. Over exposure to blue light can cause both short-term and long-term damage to your eyes. Because blue light wavelengths are shorter, they flicker more than longer, weaker wavelengths. This kind of flickering creates a glare that can reduce visual contrast, and affect sharpness and clarity. This flickering and glaring may be one of the reasons for eye strain, headaches, and physical and mental fatigue caused by many hours sitting in front of a computer screen or other electronic device. Which is what many of us and professional athletes are doing at night.

Our eyes have natural filters that do not provide sufficient protection against blue light rays from the sun, let alone the more intense blue light emanating from digital devices. Prolonged exposure to blue light may cause retinal damage and contribute to age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to loss of vision. Furthermore, blue light is what triggers your brain to stop producing melatonin, the chemical your body creates to help you get deep, restorative sleep. How this all works is when blue light hits your retina (the only wavelength to pass through your cornea), an enzyme in your eye sends a message to your brain to stop producing melatonin. If we lived in the Stone Age, all of this would take place naturally and GUNNAR wouldn’t need to exist. But we’re in the Digital Age now, and over 80% of us are using an electronic device an hour before we head to bed.

You might be thinking, big whoop! I do just fine – I can stare at a screen all day and still get good enough sleep. Except that’s not the case for most people. Sleeping and deep restorative sleep are very different things. Restorative sleep allows your body to repair and heal during the night. Even more important to take note of is how bad over saturation of artificial blue light is for you, your eyes, and your brain. When coming from a digital device, blue light is 65% more intense than the atmospherically reduced blue light naturally seen from the sun. And while a rare few individuals may not necessarily feel the adverse effects, there is still a chemical reaction taking place that cannot be avoided. Therefore, when it comes to professional athletes, their trainers are seeing the effects in their poor performance the next day at practice.

B) Blue light can reduce the quality of sleep you get at night. Medical professionals from the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel and Cyclotron Research Center, University of Liège, proved that evening exposure to blue light significantly impacted sleep quality. Remember, all electronic devices emit artificial blue light at a much higher intensity than what we see from the sun, so this means any use of any device prior to bed can reduce the quality of sleep you get.

C) Blocking blue light will help you sleep better and increases melatonin. Experts from Keio University School of Medicine and Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan investigated how much melatonin and sleep quality were affected when something was used to block artificial blue light prior to going to bed. What’d they find out? Measurements and study results showed that the 12 adults who participated had more melatonin, and better sleep efficacy and latency when they used a “blue-light shield”.

D) Amber lenses that block blue light will improve sleep. Professors from the University of Toledo did a random study on 20 adults who were broken up into two groups. One group wore amber lensed glasses blocking blue light, the other wore yellow lensed glasses only blocking ultraviolet light. At the end of their study, they found that the group that wore amber lensed glasses not only experienced significant improvements in how they slept, but also in their mood.

E) Why should I want quality sleep? The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recognizes that sleep is vitally important to your health and wellbeing. Sleep deprived individuals suffer from a multitude of medical issues. But those who get quality sleep have healthier hearts, better hormonal balance, and a stronger immune system among just a few of the benefits. Ultimately, though, it’s about performance and functioning at your best each day. Without the right amount of sleep, your body will not repair and you will suffer.

Given all of this information and these studies, it goes without saying that GUNNAR eyewear, among other benefits, can indeed help you sleep better. Note that our patented technology is specifically designed to block from 100% to 65% of artificial blue light across the 380-450 nanometer wavelengths which is the range of blue light that is damaging to your retina. No other lens or eyewear company can compare. None. But don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself by watching our laser test.

The bottom line is we offer a solution to a problem that could otherwise be avoided if everyone turned off their digital devices. That’s not happening anytime soon, though, so you’re better off taking the necessary precautions in order to improve your work, your play, and your sleep. You may not be a professional athlete, but you are competing in life every single day for maximum efficiency and effect. Staying at the top of your game is crucial to your personal success, and we are here to help.

NFL running back Stepfán Taylor wearing Haus. Photo courtesy of Stepfán Taylor.

Now’s a great time to join the GUNNAR Movement by checking out our latest styles, FPS designed by Razer and Vertex, which are both in stock today.

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