How to Reduce the Chances of Eye Strain While Playing Video Games
March 31, 2022
Computers, tablets, and smartphones are everyday essentials for most people. Whether you use these devices for work or leisure, it can be challenging to take your eyes off the screen. According to studies, the average American spends around 10 hours of the day in front of a screen and about an hour playing video games.
Considering the amount of daily screen time, your eyesight is bound to suffer some negative consequences. That said, the most common negative impact of constant video gaming is eye strain. However, this impact on your vision can be long-term too.
What is Eye Strain?
While the common term used by gamers is “eye strain,” ophthalmologists refer to this eye concern as computer vision syndrome. Eye strain isn’t a disease; it is a collection of symptoms and effects caused by high levels of digital screen use. In this case, computers, TVs, phones, and other screens all fall under the digital screen category.
The most common symptoms of video gaming eye strains include dry eyes, tired eyes, blurred vision, double vision, eye irritation, twitchy eyes, red eyes, or a burning sensation in the eyes. Those who wear contact lenses may even experience sore eyes. So, anyone with one or more of these symptoms is experiencing computer vision syndrome.
How Video Gaming Causes Eye Strain
Here’s how constant video gaming can cause eye strain:
There’s a vast difference between how the eyes focus on a flat surface, such as a piece of paper, and a video screen. The eyes and brain know and understand the exact distance at which they have to focus when looking at printed material. However, when it comes to video screens, not so much.
The eyes constantly change focus when looking at a video screen, making them very tired. Moreover, you’re so focused on a video game that your eyes often get locked into the screen, which makes it difficult for the eyes to easily focus on other objects, even after you’ve stopped playing.
We blink so much is because our eyes require constant lubrication to operate properly. According to research, the average human blinks about 15 to 20 times a minute. However, when we’re reading, watching TV, or playing games, we blink less than 10 times a minute. Moreover, children absorbed in video games blink even lesser than 10 times.
This reduced blinking impacts the flow of tears and leaves your eyes unprotected, resulting in dryness, irritation, and strain.
How to Reduce the Chances of Eye Strain While Playing Video Games
If you’re experiencing eye discomfort or strain, you’re probably tired of having sore and burning eyes. Moreover, you may also notice a considerable reduction in the quality of your work or video gaming skills. So, if you want to get back on top of your game and maintain your position, it’s important to care for your eyes and prevent any discomfort.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to relieve eye discomfort when video gaming.
Get Gaming Glasses
If you want to improve your video gaming skills, you will obviously need to practice for hours at a time. Besides that, you will also need to have the appropriate equipment at your disposal to keep your eyes from hurting, and gaming glasses are really helpful in this case.
Whether you’re playing games on a screen, table, or even your smartphone, you’re exposed to significant blue light that causes dry and strained eyes. However, wearing gaming glasses can prevent these issues as they are made of special filters that reduce the effect of blue light on your eyes.
Invest in a Screen Filter
Like gaming glasses, using a screen filter when playing video games can significantly lessen the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to during gaming. A major plus side to using a screen filter is that everyone looking at the screen receives ample eye protection, unlike gaming glasses that only protect the person wearing them.
So, if you mostly game alone, then gaming glasses are great. However, if you tend to play more with your friends and family or simply aren’t comfortable wearing glasses, opting for a screen filter would be better!
Adjust Your Screen Settings
If your monitor screen is too bright for your eyes by default, you may not even realize that you’re straining your eyes. In some cases, even the resolution and size of your screen can impact your eyes, causing strain.
The best way to go about this is to experiment with your monitor’s settings to find one that works well for you. Alter your screen’s resolution and try to lower the brightness to keep your eyes from working extra hard. If all this fails and you’re still dealing with eye strain, consider upgrading your display. Investing in a better PC can be expensive, so a more affordable option would be to get a better LED display that reduces reflection.
Switch to a Dark Theme
A growing number of people are switching towards dark themes on their devices. The reason behind the popularity of these themes is that they are a great way to reduce eye strain. So, try switching to dark themes as much as you can, not just on your phones but on other devices as well. This will help reduce your display’s brightness even further, benefiting your eyes in the long run.
Be Mindful of the Light Around You
The light emanating from your digital screen isn’t the only one that can cause your eyes to strain during video gaming. Believe it or not, the light in your surrounding is also a rather important factor to consider.
Before starting your game session, reduce the light coming into your room. Opt for light-blocking curtains, turn off your lights, and use low-intensity bulbs.
Set Your Screen at a Safe Distance
You probably remember your parents scolding you as a child every time you’d get too close to the screen. Well, they were right! Sitting too close to a screen can cause greater damage to your eyes, and staying away from your screen can reduce strain.
Place your monitor at a safe distance, at least 20 inches away, when you’re playing. This will help make your eyes feel less tired and dry, reducing eye strain.
Reposition Your Monitor
Along with placing your monitor at a safe distance from your eyes, you should always keep the screen slightly tilted up. Experts suggest that looking down as when you do when using your phone keeps more of your eyes covered, which increases moisture.
So, the best way to avoid moisture production is to reposition your device, the monitor in this case, in a way that makes you look up or in line with your eyes. The Electric Height Adjustable Gaming Desk helps you mount your monitor in a way that’s suitable for your eyes and helps with eye strain.
Take Frequent Breaks
Some games are so captivating that even the thought of stepping away from the screen may not occur to you. This is especially true when you’re completely immersed in a game and feel in the zone. However, no matter how focused you are, it is important to take breaks from your screen once in a while.
You should take a break every 15 to 20 minutes when playing video games and rest your eyes to avoid them from getting strained. Most people wait till their eyes get tired, which isn’t the right way to go about it. It’s better to schedule your breaks and get your eyes the rest they need before they strain any further.
Focus on a Distant Object
Another way to avoid eye strain is to look away from your display and shift your focus to a distinct object. This helps stretch your eye-focusing ciliary muscles. The easiest way to go about this is to look away after level you clear or pause the game when things aren’t too intense. As you pause the game, divert your attention to the most distant object in the room or quietly peer out your window.
Talk to Your Doctor
These ways to prevent eye strain during video gaming can help reduce the chances of eye strain. However, consult a doctor if you still have serious headaches and eye concerns even after implementing all these strategies! They will run some tests to determine what’s causing the eye strain and suggest ways to solve it. Maybe playing video games isn’t the issue that needs solving.
The Positive Effects of Video Gaming
If you thought playing video games was all negative, that’s not true! Sure, excessive video gaming can be detrimental to your eyes and overall health, but playing video games in moderation can actually positively affect your vision. Experts suggest that action video games can improve certain visual activities, such as reading or driving at night.
The Bottom Line
Reducing brightness, getting the appropriate equipment, and taking breaks can help reduce eyestrain while playing video games. Once you’ve taken the necessary safety measures, you can play for hours on end without fretting about eye discomfort. However, remember that there are other video game injuries that you might suffer.
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