Special Report
A special report is content that is edited and produced by the special reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report but do not have editorial control.

Focus on employee wellbeing during pandemic sees Ambr Eyewear sales rise

Company’s blue-light shielding glasses help protect from eyestrain and headaches

Working from home has left many of us spending more time than ever on screen. Little wonder we feel boggley-eyed by the end of the day. Eyestrain, headaches and difficulty sleeping are only some of the issues that Ambr Eyewear, an online optician service, was set up to resolve.

It is a specialist maker of spectacles that filter out some of the problems caused by prolonged screen time. Its lenses block a portion of the light that falls outside of the ultraviolet spectrum. Known as blue light, it can cause many of the eye issues related to prolonged screen time.

“Covid has had a massive impact on sales,” says Dan Nugent who co-founded the business with his partner Sacha Cahill. “From the moment the first lockdown was announced, sales went up four- or fivefold because of the mix of everyone being at home on screens, and the bricks-and-mortar opticians being closed.”

Corporate gifting

Although its glasses are also sold through Dublin’s Brown Thomas, Ambr Eyewear is an online optician. Customers can choose to have prescriptive lenses with its protective blue-light shielding glass, or non- prescription, clear lenses. Frames are selected via a nifty virtual reality gizmo.

A significant number of sales over the past year have been corporate gifting, as employers sought ways to ease the strain of staff working from home, and to show they care.

Today the business ships to 80 countries worldwide and Nugent and Cahill are collaborating with some well-known Irish creatives on new design ranges.

When the pair first set up the business in 2017, they had to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining to people how blue light-filtering glasses can help them. Not anymore.

“It’s mainstream now. I don’t have to explain it to people anymore,” says Cahill.