The Effects of Video Games on Eyesight

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 28-Jan-2015

According to statistics from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, 67 percent of U.S. households play video games. 25 percent of gamers are under 18, while the largest population of gamers (49 percent) are adults ages 18 to 49. The average gamer spends eight hours a week playing video games.

How is all this time spent playing video games affecting the vision of American children and adults?

Playing video games requires prolonged periods of focus on the screen, which can lead to headaches, dry eyes, eyestrain, blurred vision and nearsightedness—similar to the effects watching too much TV can have if your eyes aren’t given a break. Most symptoms related to video gaming are similar to that of Computer Vision Syndrome, which is caused by prolonged exposure to a computer screen without significant breaks.

If video games are big in your home, set up some ground rules to help protect your family’s vision.

  • Follow the 20/20/20 rule. For every 20 minutes you spend looking at any digital screen (phone, tablet, computer or TV), shift your gaze away from the screen and focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Position yourself at least six to 10 feet from the screen.
  • Try to remember to blink frequently to keep eyes moist. Artificial tears can also be used to refresh your eyes when they are dry or irritated.
  • Reduce glare. Turn your TV screen so that glare from windows and other light sources is not visible.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can worsen eyestrain.
  • Pay attention to how your eyes feel. If your eyes are tired or sore, it’s time to take a break.

If you are experiencing problems with your vision or eye discomfort, contact Key-Whitman Eye Center today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.

Categories: Eye Health
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