Can Video Games Hurt My Eyes?
Good question! If you’ve ever felt like your eyes are sore after an intense gaming session, then you’re likely wondering about this potential issue. Let’s look at the risks and how to protect your eye health.
This discussion focuses on a range of games, from racing to adventure genres. It also applies to video games you’re playing on your phone, computer, tablet, or PC. In other words, this conversation includes a range of games played in various environments.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Unfortunately, playing video games without a break for a long period can negatively affect your eyes. When computer use affects the eyes, it is referred to as computer vision syndrome (CVS). A range of eye strain issues that fall within this umbrella term.
CVS can occur with gaming because the eyes are continually focusing and refocusing, especially if you’re trying to level up or are constantly on alert for another character who’s trying to take you out of the game. As you’re looking at the screen for extended periods, you’re more likely to get CVS when gaming than if you weren’t doing so.
Preventing Eye Strain
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to stop gaming. Especially because it probably is the highlight of the day and during this difficult time in the world it’s nice to have an escape from the news.
But you do need to protect your eyes from damage. So, take breaks to rest them, if you can. You’d likely also do well to get up and stretch now and then as you might have been sitting for a long time. Even if you’re in a comfortable gaming chair, it’s good to have at least some bodily movement.
You might also look into getting glasses if you have been straining to see clearly lately. Squinting at the computer screen clearly could be a warning sign of a vision issue, so make an appointment with an optometrist to find the source of the problem.
After the eye exam, if the professional suggests that you get glasses, check this out. The optometrist will give you an accurate prescription and Pupillary Distance measurement to use to get high-quality lenses.
Try to reduce glare in the room where you play video games, if you can, as well. The glare can lead to headaches as it is hard on the eyes. Adjust the computer screen or the TV monitor to reduce or eliminate glare, as well as closing blinds on windows if that contributes to the issue. Doing so will help to reduce the chances of straining your eyes.
The Positives of Gaming
Of course, gaming is not entirely bad for the eyes. You might find, for example, that you are better able to process visual information after you’ve been gaming for a while. Plus, you might return to the office the day after a gaming session and find that you have a new solution to the problem because you took time away from work.
You may have also heard of video game therapy. Some people with learning disabilities have experienced better performance on attention tasks following gaming time, for example.
There are even games designed specifically for those who are diagnosed with mental health issues. The game Gris, for instance, is a violence-free game that features a young girl who learns to deal with grief and loss through a series of challenges.
Keeping Your Eyes Healthy with Food
Did you know that what you eat can also affect your eye health? Certain nutrients can be a crucial part of maintaining good eyesight.
For instance, Vitamin A can help reduce age-related changes in the eyes. Sources that are high in Vitamin A include carrots and spinach.
Have you heard of Selenium? It is commonly found in shellfish, eggs, and milk. This antioxidant is beneficial for absorbing other nutrients and vitamins.
Before making changes to your diet, though, always visit your doctor to make sure it’s the best for your health. The physician may also suggest you take a multivitamin to make sure you’re regularly getting all the nutrients needed for eye health if you cannot get them naturally from the foods you consume.
Final Words on Gaming and Your Eyes
Now you know that it’s okay to play video games (yay!), but just make sure that you do so in moderation. Take breaks for your eyes and the rest of your body, as well as getting glasses if you need them so that you don’t continually experience eye strain. Having balance in life will help you feel at your best, as will getting regular eye exams.