Dry, Sore and Square Eyes

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Fortunately, I am blessed. I can see things that are far away, or really close up with ease. I’m thankful that my eyesight is pretty damn good, all things considered. I work in IT; which, as you would expect, usually has me looking at a monitor for 7-8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Once I’m at home, I’m either watching TV or playing video-games. Either way, for extremely long periods of time, I’m sat about half-a-metre away from the screen like an overexcitable 5-year-old. My Mum always said that my eyes would go square… they never did, they just got tired and achy.

I haven’t had my eyes tested in a few years, but last time I did, my optician gave me the strangest bit of advice. I suffer from dry eyes, this is why they can sometimes ache after a long day. I told him that I play video-games, like any normal kid I suppose, and he told me to fill a bucket with water and sit next to it whenever I’m kicking ass with a controller.

A bucket of water. Yeah, you read it right. Despite thinking that this guy had completely lost his mind, I could vaguely see where he was coming from. The logic behind his bat-shit crazy idea was that the water moistens the air, so my eyes don’t get as dry so quickly. That old-wives-tale may have worked back in the early 1700’s when he was a young lad, but I’m sure there are better ways to help with sore eyes nowadays.

Despite our arguments, I’m afraid that staring at screens/monitors all day is unnatural. It’s just not what our eyes were designed for. Spending hours in front of a digital device can be hard on the eyes. Our eyes are muscles like any other muscle in the body and they get tired from use. Staring at computers, smart phones and tablets play a major part in eye exhaustion and troubles sleeping. I like to think that I found a solution. Wear glasses. Not the magnified type to help with visual impairments, the anti-glare ones. All these glasses are designed to do, is to filter out harsh light from entering your eyes. They tend to put a yellowish tint over things so that the bright white lights on screens just aren’t that piercing.

GunnarGlasses.png

We are wired to a media-rich, networked world of infinite possibility. Visually connected to computers, tablets, phones and games. Peering into an abyss of high-energy visible (HEV) artificial blue light for hours can disrupt your entire system: your eyes, neck and back, circadian rhythms, serotonin levels and overall health. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) has become an increasing problem. Nearly 70% of U.S. adults experience digital eye strain as a result of increasing use of digital devices. Cumulative exposure to artificial blue light can contribute to vision problems such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

All of that over-exaggerated mumbo-jumbo is from Gunnar.com. You may have heard of them as they’re the biggest in the business when it comes to gaming glasses. They are the bee’s knees and certainly look the part; but of obviously, they are a tad more expensive than most. I didn’t want to be throwing my hard-earned cash down the drain on a total whim, so I searched high and low for something a little more affordable.

Amazon was my stop. After reading loads of reviews on hundreds of items, I finally settled on a pair of Duco’s. What? You’ve never heard of them? I don’t think anyone has, they’re just a cheap Gunnar clone, but they looked pretty good.

The glasses don’t look half-bad so long as you ignore the model’s choice in shirt. They have the yellow tint to block out this so-called evil blue light and they come with a decent case. For £19, it was a little more than I had anticipated, but it was much more justifiable than a £60-£80 pair of Gunnar’s. The pair that I bought were from here.

It could certainly be a placebo effect in play here, but I feel like they do a great job. If im at work, and I feel like I’m getting a bit of a headache, sticking these on really does help. If I’m playing on my PC or console late at night, these help me play for longer. My eyes just seem healthier on the whole. I’m sure there’s some overarching negatives to them; perhaps be they weaken your eyesight over time or your eyes become more dependant on them, who knows? They do a job for me though.

After using these glasses for a few months now, I’m seriously considering getting a pair of Gunnar ones. If you’re looking at trying a pair, I’d be tempted to tell you to jump straight in and get some Gunnar’s, but if you’re on a budget, the Duco ones are perfect!

So you know what to do with that bucket…

skyrimbucket

Ha!… never get’s old.

If you find yourself blinking quite a bit, or looking away from the screen every so often to rest your eyes, I’d certainly recommend that you consider some snazzy eyewear. Dont let sore eyes get in the way of your marathon gaming sessions!

Do you have any tips that help you game for longer?

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8 thoughts on “Dry, Sore and Square Eyes

  1. A buddy of mine who works in IT and plays video games (so, same as myself) has a pair of these Gunnar glasses and wears them at work and while gaming. He swears by them.

    As I was reading your article, I became more aware just how much my eyes were straining (I think it’s the white background on the site). I always assumed these were super expensive but for $75 or so, it’s worth the cost of admission (and probably can come out of my flexible spending account, actually…) I will definitely look into getting some of these – thanks for sharing!

    To answer your last question.. let’s see – for me, I use a program called Flux on all of my devices that have it available. Really helps me eyes and I have no issue falling asleep at night. For 3DS or Vita, I drop the brightness down as well. I think part of the problem of most people falling asleep is that they aren’t physically tired so much as their eyes are tired, but I’m not a doctor so that’s all I’ll say on that! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I use anti-glare glasses at night when I drive, and they’re great!

    Unfortunately I don’t have any tips. My eyesight is pretty horrible, but my eye doctor tells me that for every 20 minutes of “close” work I do, I should look out a window for 30 seconds. Won’t stop my eyes being awful, of course, but he said it could help with eye strain and fatigue, which makes it harder for your eyes to focus.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have excellent eyesight. I’m not just bragging; it’s just how it is (20/13R, 20/20L). However, I’ve been interested in buying a pair of glasses for gaming, writing, and programming. It makes me feel much better knowing that they actually work, so now I’m going to need to look into getting a pair at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

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