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In an era of non-stop digital device use, it’s no longer news that you should take care of your eyes. For those that work in front of a computer full time, and especially if your after-hour hobbies include a lot of screen time, this is of particular concern.
The harmful effects of long hours combined with excessive blue-light exposure can cause all sorts of havoc from headaches and tired eyes to insomnia. So it’s no surprise that there’s a need for blue-light blocking glasses to help reduce eye strain – which are easy enough to find – but what if you need prescription lenses?
We’ve rounded up the best prescription gaming glasses around that are tried-and-true, comfortable, and available in prescription, reading and non-Rx versions.
One of the more popular frames sold by Gunnar Optiks, the Haus Advanced Computer Eyewear frames are a classic rectangular frame in onyx black (pictured) as well as a lighter amber-colored tortoise. High-quality acetate and spring hinges on the temple arms make for a secure and comfortable fit. Anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings on the front and back of the lenses reduces glare while also standing up to some wear and tear.
HyperX Spectre Stealth SQ1
Don’t want yellow-tinted glasses? HyperX makes a line of gaming glasses that are lightweight, comfortable, and block harmful blue light with clear lenses. The Spectre Stealth is one of their newest frames with thin, flexible metal arms that allow you to wear headsets over them without a problem. It comes in black clear fade (pictured), black-red, or just plain black. Get them with or without Rx lenses depending on your needs.
Through a collaboration with the gamer behemoth Razer, the latest edition MOBA Razer eyeglasses channel their signature bright green brand and incorporate it with an asymmetrical pop of color. The color palette adds character and style to a sturdy, lightweight and durable metal frame.
Available with single vision or progressive lenses, you can choose your tint based on how much Blue Light Protection Factor™ (BLPF) you want. Anti-glare polycarbonate lenses are included, as well as a microfiber pouch and cleaning cloth. It’s also a great affordable choice without Rx lenses too.
If you’re an Esports fanatic, Oakley has a line of gaming glasses that’ll fit your face like a glove. The Metalink is made of premium lightweight materials, has Oakley’s signature straight temple arms that flex for easy wearing, plus comes with 3 different size nosepads for you to choose from.
The slim-design arms make them easy to fit under headsets and the soft matte Unobtanium® finish grips securely even when you’re full of adrenaline and sweating buckets. Best of all, you can get these with Rx lenses if you don’t want to wear contacts all day.
If you’re in front of a screen more than 12+ hours a day, you’re going to want the Gunnar Sheadog. It’s got wraparound style lenses with a universal fit that works well for all face types including a low nose bridge (Asian-fit), and is super lightweight to boot. It comes in both the lighter-colored Mercury (shown), or the standard Onyx black.
As with all Gunnar glasses, you can customize the tint from a nearly clear Blue Light Protection Factor™ (BLPF) of 35 all the way up to the Amber Max BLPF 98 (pictured) if you’re on overnight duty. Many users feel a big difference with Gunnar’s patented lens technology, noting that they no longer experience headaches or the extreme eye fatigue and strain that comes with staring at pixels all day long.
The Gunnar Emissary frames are closer to the original style of gaming glasses. This pair goes for a more sleek, streamlined look, offering a crisp, lightweight feel for your most intense gaming sessions.
Truth is, many people who are considering getting a pair of gaming glasses really just need to update their prescription. If your eyes feel tired and strained, go get them checked out. You can always get an affordable pair of Rx glasses with blue light blocking lenses like this tortoise pair from Zenni, which should relieve your eyes and your wallet.
When discussing eye health, it’s important to understand how light travels and interacts with the human eye. Arguably the most familiar type of harmful light is ultraviolet light, which is produced by the sun, and which contributes to both skin and eye health issues.
UV rays are not visible to the human eye, however, and do not come from computer screens. Visible light, or, light that the eye can see, does come from both the sun and from computer screens. Blue light, more specifically, is one of the stronger rays of light that emanate from computer, phone, and TV screens, and is of particular concern when it comes to eye health. Visible light is made up of different electromagnetic particles, ranging from 400 to 700 nm in wavelength.
The shorter the wavelength, the higher the energy levels of each particle. Blue light particles fall within the 400 nm wavelength range, and are therefore those with the highest energy levels. It happens to also be the only kind of visible light that fully reaches the retina of the eye. As a result, recent studies have suggested that long term exposure to blue light can lead to eye health issues. Some eye specialists propose that it can be as harmful long term as UV rays are to the skin.
Moderate exposure to blue light, in and of itself, is not necessarily a health hazard. People are exposed to blue light in its natural form when they walk outside and encounter the sun. Still, this type of exposure is naturally limited. These days, thanks to the blue light coming from the different screens that constantly surround us, that natural limit is quickly passed, becoming potentially dangerous. While there is not enough scientific evidence yet to confirm these potential risks, there are known short-term consequences that come from extended exposure to blue light.
In fact, almost 70% of American adults experience some variation of eye strain or discomfort. This includes conditions such as dry eyes, headaches, and can even contribute to trouble sleeping. Since blue light from electronic screens is similar to that found in sunlight, it can disrupt the naturally occurring levels of melatonin in our bodies, throwing off our ability to fall asleep in the evenings.
Gamers are especially vulnerable to these shorter-term pains caused by overexposure to blue light. Why should a leisure activity or hobby act as the source of physical discomfort? That’s why a growing number of gamers have turned to purchasing prescription and non-prescription gaming glasses.
How They Work
In general, anti blue-light lenses borrow from anti-glare or anti-reflective technology. This technology uses multiple layers of metallic oxides that work to neutralize color coming into the eyes. Not all anti-glare and anti-reflective lenses protect against blue-light, however, which is what makes gaming lenses most appealing. Prescription gaming glasses specifically cater to those that spend hours in front of blue-light producing devices. While there are a few brands out in the market that make prescription gaming glasses, the most popular is arguably Gunnar Optiks. Founded in 2007, Gunnar designed and patented their signature amber tinted lenses to offset the harmful effects of blue light from computer screens. As we noted before, not all blue light is bad light.
Blue light with shorter wavelengths (380-470 nm) is what is generally considered to be harmful, while that with longer wavelengths is actually beneficial and necessary for the eyes. This “good” blue light helps maintain our natural instincts (such as blinking when overexposed to light) and our memory. According to their website, Gunnar Optiks’s lenses are designed to “ shift the color spectrum for visual efficiency .” That is, they take the light coming from any screen, and essentially transform it through their lenses to work with the way eyes naturally function.
Lenses from other brands tend to only block 10-20% of the bad blue light. Gunnar offers 2 main types of lenses. Their patented amber-tinted lenses are their most effective ones, since they filter out 65% of the harmful blue light from screens. The other option, the Crystalline lenses, block a lower percentage of harmful blue light, but are a fantastic alternative for those that are not huge fans of the signature amber hue. While this version is recommended for graphic designers and others who require colors to be obvious and clear, the lenses recommended for gamers and others regularly in front of screens are without a doubt the patented amber ones.
All of Gunnar Optiks’s lenses are made in a specific wrapped shape that limits air currents to the eyes, which is especially useful for those that suffer from dry eyes. Studies have shown that people tend to blink about 60% less when in front of a computer screen. Thanks to the shape of these lenses, Gunnar glasses ensure that despite this decrease in blinking activity, moisture conditions are as optimal as possible.
Improved Gaming Performance
In addition to the obvious benefits for the eye, many gamers claim that prescription gaming glasses have improved their actual gaming performance. Gunnar’s high quality lenses reduce glare and sharpen vision. This, in turn, creates optimal conditions for gamers to stay on their toes with improved visual acuity. The lenses are also scratch resistant, so they are sure to last for years on end.
Why Get Prescription Gaming Glasses?
Many gaming glasses in the market are actually sold as non-prescription lenses, so gamers of all visions can help protect their eyes. However, if you are a person who requires corrective lenses, investing in a pair of prescription gaming glasses could be worth it, financially.
Firstly, switching out a pair of regular prescription glasses for a pair of non-prescription gaming glasses effectively replaces one set of eye issues with another. Even with the benefits of anti-glare and tinted technology in the lenses, if you still struggle to view the screen in front of you, you’re likely to resort to squinting. With squinting, you are still subject to the headaches and dry eyes that you were originally trying to fix. Prescription gaming glasses ensure that your eyes receive the maximum level of care during gaming and other screen-interfacing activities.
Secondly, you don’t have to be a gamer to consider prescription gaming glasses! Some studies have concluded that, taking into account our overall interaction with screens, the average person interacts with blue-light for a total of 8 to 10 hours per day. That’s practically a full workday! While protective lenses certainly make sense for gaming, they come in equally as handy for work and for spending time outdoors. Why limit the benefits of eye protection to a gaming console?
New Prescription Gaming Glasses Styles
Whether you’re looking for a pair of prescription lenses to accompany you during your gaming hours, or whether you’re seeking a pair to take with you throughout your day, the variety of prescription gaming glasses available in the market has increased significantly over the last decade. Whereas in the past, only a handful of frame shapes and sizes were available, retailers (and more specifically, Gunnar Optiks) have begun to incorporate more modern designs lately. Additionally, these frames are good for both men and women. Their shapes are designed to flatter any face and style.