04 Jan Health is the New Wealth
2018 is upon us and so begins a fresh start for countless people. It’s the season of New Year’s Resolutions when millions of individuals will promise themselves to eat more nutritious foods, increase their vitamin intake, hit the gym on a regular basis, and all sorts of other efforts in order to achieve a healthier and happier version of themselves. However, for most, one integral part of their body is neglected: the eyes.
Everyone’s day begins when the eyes open and ends when they close, so it makes perfect sense to protect them in between. And given the incredible amount of new information being released about the need to protect the eyes, now is the time for a digital eyewear movement like no one has ever seen before (pun intended). Just take a look at WebMD; they recently posted an article that shows wearing amber-tinted glasses is recommended to improve sleep quality. The study is based on a newly published article in the Journal of Psychiatric Research which proved “soundness of sleep” was “significantly higher” when subjects wore amber lenses before going to bed. So, you see, health really is the new wealth!
It’s no mystery that efforts by many to live a healthier life have increased. In fact, since 2013, the health and wellness industry has grown by nearly 11%, and earns around $4 trillion a year with nearly $550 billion going to mind and body fitness. From expensive, healthy customized diets to specialized personal training, millions of people are shelling out thousands of dollars each year to better themselves. Yet, the same eyes they use to spot these deals in order to improve their health is the one part of their body that’s ignored the most. Whether indoors or out, many people just don’t feel the need to put on a pair of glasses or sunglasses in order to avoid damaging waves of light. Outdoors, it’s ultraviolet light which has been proven time and again to damage corneal tissue. Indoors, it’s the dreaded artificial blue light that’s really the beast of eye damage.
If you’re just catching up on what’s been getting a lot of attention lately, blue light is the only wavelength that penetrates deep into the eye and can adversely affect the retina. With sunlight, the natural part of our biological clocks kicks in. Blue light triggers an enzyme in the eye which sends a message to the brain to turn off melatonin (the natural chemical that makes us sleepy) and we wake up. As the sun goes down, the results are reversed and we get tired. Since it’s the 21st Century, though, we’re now inundated by electronic devices at nearly every turn. Cell phones, laptops, tablets, dashboards, even some refrigerator doors! Digital screens are everywhere and they all emit a whole lot more blue light than the sun. Specifically, the peak of blue light from 400 to 450 nanometers is the most damaging. Beyond 450, we get a wavelength of blue light that’s actually healthy, helps your mood improve, and increases focus.
Now, if you’re one of the 83+% of Americans who use a digital device for more than two hours a day and part of the millions who experience eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and even neck and shoulder pain, then say hello to digital eye strain because that’s what you have. And if you think these numbers are alarming, don’t hold your breath for a reprieve because our world is only getting more wired as you read this. Not only are our eyes exposed to harmful blue light at nearly every turn which can cause macular degeneration, cataracts, and permanent damage to the retina, that same blue light is also causing us to lose quality sleep. So, in a world concerned about health, wellness, and improving livelihood, why are so many disregarding their eyes while dumping thousands of dollars on everything else? It makes no sense.
What we weren’t expecting as we headed into 2017 was for a new era of urgency to be ushered in. We had professional athletic directors and teams reach out, health gurus, exercise experts, and many more come knocking on our door looking for a way to improve their sleep quality while protecting their eyes throughout their digitally-soaked day. Even fashion-conscious celebrities and organizations wanted to work with us because digital eye strain is a very real issue for all people from all walks of life. 2017 turned into a GUNNAR Movement which we’re now riding into 2018. Not only are we working hard on developing new styles and technology to go with them, we have some really ambitious partnerships to announce very soon. This has all led us to wonder how we can make it easier for you to decipher exactly what you’re getting when you invest in GUNNAR products and your health.
Today, we’d like to announce a new lens protection rating system we’re calling BPF: blue protection factor. BPF is a scientifically applied protection rating designed to help people compare the efficiency of the blue light protection from their screens which they receive from their glasses. Starting now and similar to SPF (sun protection factor), all of our products and comparisons will come with a BPF rating so you can clearly see what level of protection you’re getting. The GUNNAR patented amber lens carries a BPF of 65 in comparison to most other competitors that have a BPF of 18. Wearing a lens with a BPF value of 65 means that the lens blocks a minimum of 65% of incoming blue light from 380nm to 450nm, and 100% of UV light. Since the most damaging and intense blue light is nearer to 450 nanometers, you know GUNNAR protection will be vastly superior.
Protecting your eyes is our #1 goal. Ever since GUNNAR was established over 10 years ago, we’ve remained close to optometry professions to ensure our products are of the highest quality on the market. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer, engineer, accountant, student, or just on a computer a lot, GUNNAR provides the highest protection available – protection that helps you see better, play longer, and improve your health. On top of that and with the introduction of the BPF rating system, we’re able to go one step further in making sure you know you’re getting nothing but the best with GUNNAR Optiks.