• Are Videos Games Bad for Your Vision

Are Videos Games Bad for Your Vision?

Board games are a dying rel­ic of our cul­ture. The “gam­ing” indus­try today is dom­i­nat­ed by video games, smart­phone apps and vir­tu­al real­i­ty sim­u­la­tions that allow gamers to immerse them­selves into worlds that defy physics and nor­mal imag­i­na­tion. The advance­ments in the indus­try are arriv­ing at such an alarm­ing pace; new tech­nolo­gies seem to be a month­ly occur­rence.

Today, there are pro­fes­sion­al video game play­ers that get paid hefty spon­sor­ship checks and earn mon­ey direct­ly relat­ed to the num­ber of view­ers that watch them play. We as a soci­ety con­tin­ue to test the lim­its of what is pos­si­ble when it comes to gam­ing expe­ri­ences and the future is tru­ly excit­ing.

How­ev­er, with such advances in the mind-blow­ing gam­ing tech­nol­o­gy there comes a few down­sides, as one could expect. Com­pa­nies do every­thing they can to try and cap­ti­vate their cus­tomer for as long as pos­si­ble and it is a com­mon thing to hear that some­one spends hours at a time play­ing the same game. Aside from the obvi­ous health con­cerns relat­ed to a seden­tary lifestyle, play­ing video games present a less com­mon­ly thought of side effect.

However, some parents may ask, “does playing video games damage your eyes?”

Vision prob­lems that arise from exces­sive amounts of video games have gained cred­i­bil­i­ty with this video gam­ing obses­sion. It may not be much of a sur­prise to think that star­ing at a com­put­er, tele­vi­sion or smart­phone screen could cause vision prob­lems but they are becom­ing more and more pop­u­lar.

There are sev­er­al con­cerns asso­ci­at­ed with pro­longed video game play­ing and some should not be ignored. It can lead to sev­er­al of the same issues that long-term tele­vi­sion watch­ing or com­put­er use can cause such as headaches, blurred vision, and even near­sight­ed­ness.

Anoth­er seri­ous impli­ca­tion of extend­ed video game play­ing can cause symp­toms that are very sim­i­lar to Com­put­er Vision Syn­drome (CVS). CVS is caused by star­ing at com­put­er screens for extend­ed peri­ods of time with­out sig­nif­i­cant breaks and cause symp­toms such as blur­ry vision, eye irri­ta­tion, light sen­si­tiv­i­ty, and neck/shoulder pain.

Video games present an even greater risk for users because they are often filled with flash­ing lights, col­ors, and rapid­ly chang­ing screens, which puts more stress on the eyes to keep up with the inun­dat­ed amount of images.

The good news is that these symp­toms, for the most part, are rel­a­tive­ly avoid­able if the prop­er pre­cau­tions are tak­en to help care for your vision and should be tak­en before you end up ask­ing, “are video games bad for your eyes?”. Min­i­miz­ing the impact that video games have on your eyes can be very sim­ple but often neglect­ed until your vision becomes an issue.

are video games bad for your eyes

Here are some simple steps that you can follow to help protect your eyesight while enjoying your favorite video game.

  • Posi­tion­ing — sit­ting too close is one of the biggest cul­prits. Make sure to posi­tion your­self far enough away from the screen, typ­i­cal­ly six to 10 feet is a good place to start. How­ev­er, this dis­tance all depends on the size of the screen (bigger=further away).
  • Fre­quent Breaks — most eye doc­tors sug­gest tak­ing a break every 20–30 min­utes. To max­i­mize the pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of the break, make sure that you look off at a dis­tance that is fur­ther than what the screen was so that it can give your eyes time to rest and recov­er. Avoid try­ing to focus on spe­cif­ic objects because your eyes are stressed to focus intent­ly dur­ing gam­ing ses­sions. In the eye health field, the 10–10-10 rule is often sug­gest­ed as well. This means that every 10 min­utes focus on an object that is fur­ther than 10 feet away for at least 10 sec­onds.
  • Glare and Light­ing — it might be very tempt­ing to turn off all the lights to set the atmos­phere for a gam­ing ses­sion but that is actu­al­ly very bad for your vision. Dras­tic con­trasts in light­ing (TV to sur­round­ing room) cause your eyes to work much hard­er to process the extreme dif­fer­ences in con­trast. The same goes for light­ing that caus­es glares. To avoid these prob­lems, make sure that you play your games in a well-lit room.

As men­tioned above, near­sight­ed­ness can be an extreme result of exces­sive video game play­ing but if you hap­pen to notice a decrease in the qual­i­ty of your vision and want to make a change, con­tact us at Dia­mond Vision.

We pro­vide the lat­est tech­niques for vision cor­rec­tion and our staff of award-win­ning sur­geons offer the very best solu­tions for vision errors. Call us today to sched­ule your free con­sul­ta­tion.

October 17th, 2018|Comments Off on Are Videos Games Bad for Your Vision?

About the Author:

Born in Connecticut and raised in Upstate New York , Dr. Stetson graduated Cum Laude from Colgate University in New York, and then earned an MD degree with honors at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He distinguished himself again in residency at the Albany Medical Center, where he obtained the highest percentile in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Examinations. Dr. Stetson has performed more than 50,000 refractive surgeries and has been on staff at Diamond Vision since 2004, before becoming Medical Director in 2006.


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