03/05/2022

๐Ÿ˜Ž GAS - The Gaming Athlete | Blue Light Blocking Glasses & Compression Socks ๐Ÿ˜Ž @The_GasOfficial

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https://thegamingathlete.com

A bit of personal background before I dive into this article. 


I’ve been aware of the health benefits of compression socks and blue light blocking eyewear for a little while now, for two different reasons – in terms of compression socks, several years ago I had a minor health complaint that resulted in my doctor telling me that the situation would improve if I wore compression socks – the issue was partially linked to my job, which – being office-based – meant that it was a pretty sedentary affair for 7 hours of every day. 


I baulked at the thought of compression socks, as from my understanding they were flesh-coloured, and mainly for the elderly. I couldn’t imagine dropping my jockeys in front of my fiancee whilst partially dressed as Mrs Doubtfire, it seemed a recipe to fizzle out our future romantic encounters. And so, I pushed the idea away and mosied on.


Where does that health issue stand now, several years later, after doing nothing?


Marginally worse, unsurprisingly.

With regard to the blue light blocking glasses, this was a newer thing for me. Over the last decade or so, I – a heavy user of contact lenses – found that my eyes would sometimes feel like they were worn out.


It’s something that hadn’t happened before; to my memory – seemingly randomly, my eyes would get irritated, struggle to focus and then stream with tears. I had friends over once and they thought I was actually crying, or that my TV was set to too vivid a setting, and I explained that it’s just that I’d been staring at a monitor in the office all day and now, coming home to a dark room with a brightly-lit TV, it just felt ‘too much’ and I had to remove my lenses, put on my spectacles (which I dislike wearing, due to the mole-like effect they have on my eyes) have a couple of minutes in a dark room to ‘reset’ my eyes, then rejoin the party. 


More recently, due to COVID-19, the way I’d been spending more time with my little brother was through online gaming. We have amazing chats online and it’s brought us a lot closer, as well as introducing us to some cool games.


The issue, of course, has been that, after a full day of work, I’d get up from my office chair, spin around and instantly start gaming, not giving my eyes that break they’d have as I walked to and from work – as I now worked from home.


It became very apparent that my eyes just couldn’t handle it, they’d be streaming within minutes and on a few occasions, I had to admit defeat and just end things early. It even made me slightly nervous when I was over at someone’s house watching movies, as I hated wearing prescription glasses so much, and if my eyes kicked off, it would be game over.


It was after a recent event, where I’d ended up a perfectly pleasant gaming session by sitting on my couch with aching, streaming, red eyes that I thought, ‘right...I have to try something’.


I’m very aware that my job and hobby are both screen-centric...but there’s no way of getting around it. After a quick look online, I came across The Gaming Athlete and couldn’t believe that they actually did a bundle with not just blue light blocking glasses...but also compression socks, stylish compression socks.


I contacted the mind behind GAS – Don Armand – and it was very clear to me that this was a driven man, passionate about The Gaming Athlete and what it presents. I checked out a couple of Don’s Twitch streams and I was taken by his openness and his genuine enthusiasm for helping others and offering advice.


This isn’t a man who calls out regular viewers and just says a quick ‘hi’ to new joiners of his stream, he was offering balanced, positive advice and really making everyone feel like they were part of a warm, productive community.


I’ve mentioned before how there can be an air of desperation on Twitch, with the focus being on numbers, algorithms and various other aspects, but from my time with the GAS streams, I really got a sense of cohesion and an ongoing narrative from Don - it appears to be his natural state, bringing people together, offering advice and generally exuding a sense of “it’s all good”.


Moving onto the products themselves, the compression socks come in various sizes and in a choice of white or black (with green motifs). Mine are supremely comfortable, as well as being pretty snazzy, coming off more as tastefully branded sports socks than anything health-related, which is a real bonus. The heel and key parts of the foot have extra thickness for longevity, and this also adds to the comfort, with the support feeling good whether I’m in my boots or my trusty Vans.

The blue light blocking glasses came in a cloth holding pouch and with a wealth of stickers* as well as a hand-written note from Don himself. The glasses are very slick and also unisex, the classic and flexible design – when worn -  somehow managing to make me look approachable and trustworthy, whilst also making my fiancee look even more attractive, an impressive feat. 

There’s clearly been a lot of effort put into making the design as universal as possible. I’ve started using the glasses on and off throughout my working day, almost as a way of giving my eyes a break, and when gaming in the evenings after a day of work, I pop them on religiously – as I know how much I’ve struggled in the past. Whilst I hesitate to comment in any medical sense on the risks and dangers of blue light (I was absolutely unaware of it until very recently),

I feel confident in saying that wearing The Gaming Athlete glasses appears to have stopped the issues I was having. It could be down to blue light reduction, or how much I blink when I wear glasses over contact lenses, or part of is psychological etc. but I can definitely state that I no longer have to remove contact lenses or struggle through strained eyes any more when these glasses are at hand, and that’s what I needed from them.

I’d like to end the article by stating a couple of things; when I’m gigging or recording with my band, I rehearse a lot; when I’ve got something big going on in work, I plan ahead; when I have booked a restaurant for a meal in the evening, I have a light lunch...and yet, I’ve never done anything of the sort when gaming or having movie marathons.

Don Armand’s approach of taking the same level of health care and general attitude from sports and transposing it to gaming is to be lauded. It might initially seem strange, to have to look after yourself when you are chilling out and playing a game that relaxes you, or maybe in a lengthy competitive session that fires you up, but between picking up a decent gaming chair, these glasses and compression socks over the last couple of months, so many aches, issues and general discomforts have disappeared for me, and I’m not going to argue with that.

Ubuntu!


*one of the stickers is a QR code, which I’m putting on my gig guitar, I’m looking forward to watching people try to take pictures of it on their phones as I wander about, onstage.

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