Video games can stimulate your mind, hone your reflexes, and provide social connections. They enjoy a popularity among people of all ages that shows no signs of diminishing. But can playing video games also damage your eye health?

Too much of anything, from cake to exercise to screen time, can damage your health. Video games played to excess, especially in a setup that doesn’t consider a gamer’s health needs, can compromise your vision. These issues can be mitigated by playing responsibly!

Video Games and Negative Eye Health Effects

Forcing your eyes to focus on a bright screen for long periods of time can exhaust your eyes. How? Both computer and television screens create pictures by displaying bright points of light (or pixels). Because pixels are bright in the center and dimmer at the edges, your eyes can have difficulty focusing on them.

Your eyes would prefer to ease into what is called the resting point of accommodation (RPA), which is a reduced level of focus. Because your eyes try to drift into the RPA, then must be focused again on the pixels, the muscles in your eye flex constantly as you game. All this flexing creates eye strain and fatigue.

This condition is often referred to as computer vision syndrome (CVS). Symptoms of this strain include:

  • Tired eyes
  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Loss of focus
  • Eye twitching
  • Red eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Increased myopia (nearsightedness)

You can ease these symptoms with a few simple changes. If you experience these symptoms, try:

  • Limiting your screen time
  • Using the 20-20-20 rule – take a screen break every 20 minutes, and look at an object that is 20 feet or more away from you for 20 seconds
  • Maintain good posture when playing your game
  • Sit far enough away from your screen
  • Use computer or gaming glasses to protect against blue light that can harm your eyes

Gamers are Welcome at Valley Eyecare Center

Gear up right for your next big game night! Valley Eyecare Center will ensure you can make those clutch plays with clear vision and eye protection that will filter out blue light. Contact us today, or call us at (602) 955-2700 for an appointment.