Gunnar Optiks

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Industry Fashion, manufacturing, retail
Founded 2007[1]
Founder Joe Croft
Jennifer Michelsen
Headquarters Carlsbad, California, U.S.
Area served
United States
Products Specialty eyewear

GUNNAR Optiks is a company founded in 2007, specializing in treated eyewear designed specifically to be safety glasses and protect eyes from computer vision syndrome.[1] Gunnar eyewear has received considerable attention in technical media reviews, including PCWorld,[2] Lifehacker,[3] Huffington Post,[4] and Gizmodo.[5] The company sells its eyeglasses online on its website, as well as at retail stores, including Best Buy.[6][7]

The company makes marketing claims that the eyewear improves contrast and comfort, while reducing eye fatigue and visual stress, especially for people who spend many hours staring at digital displays.[8] A Pacific University research study of 36 participants did in fact find significant differences in irritation or burning of the eyes, tearing, or watery eyes, dry eyes, and tired eyes, that were each improved by Gunnar lenses versus placebo lenses. [9] The study also never tested the alternative method of simulating the effect of Gunnar lenses by simply adjusting the computer monitor's parameters such as brightness, contrast and color temperature. It is used to protect from LED artficial light. In a 2008 follow-up study the team was not able to reproduce the results of the first study, finding no difference in burning of the eyes, tearing, or watery eyes with Gunnar Optiks compared to placebo glasses.[10] The study found "[no] scientific evidence for a change in accommodation (focusing), tear volume, or electromyography of the eyelid (squinting and blinking)".[10]


Joe Croft and Jennifer Michelsen co-founded GUNNAR Optiks after Michelsen's husband was diagnosed with computer vision syndrome and was experiencing migraine headaches. Croft, a Stanford-educated engineer, had recently left the Oakley eyewear brand. The company is named for the Michelsen's oldest son, Gunnar. Michelsen went to the University of Rhode Island and studied International Marketing.[1][7]


  1. ^ a b c "About", GUNNAR Optiks, About GUNNAR.
  2. ^ "How to Eliminate Eyestrain From Your Big, Beautiful PC", David Murphy, 5 July 2012, PCWorld,
  3. ^ "Gunnar Optiks Prescription Eye-Strain Reducing Glasses", Jason Chen, 21 November 2011, Lifehacker,
  4. ^ "Overworked Eyes: Will Your Computer Make You Go Blind?", Robert Joyce, O.D., 5 July 2012, Huffington Post,
  5. ^ "Lightning Review: Gunnar Optiks Eye Strain-Reducing Computer Glasses", Jason Chen, 8 September 2008, Gizmodo,
  6. ^ "Best Buy", GUNNAR Optiks, Gunnars are now available at all BEST BUY locations
  7. ^ a b "Meet Jennifer Michelsen", The Phenomlist, Entrepreneurial Moms
  8. ^
  9. ^ Kundart, James; John R. Hayes; Yu-Chi Tai; Jim Sheedy (2007). "Gunnar Optiks Study: Accommodation and Symptoms (2007)". Pacific University Oregon: Common Knowledge. Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  10. ^ a b Kundart, James; John R. Hayes; Yu-Chi Tai; Jim Sheedy (2008). "Gunnar Optiks Study: Electromyography and Tear Volume (2008)". Pacific University Oregon: Common Knowledge. Retrieved 2014-04-23.