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Can Video Games Damage Your Eyesight?

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A young man sits on a couch with a wireless controller in his hand, playing a video game on a console connected to a television.

More and more people find that their daily leisure and work-related activities put them in front of a screen. Video games are a common pastime, but they may require a high focus level, which can put stress on your eyes. 

Prolonged video gaming can negatively affect your eye health in the short term. It’s primarily due to a condition known as computer vision syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain

With the right habits, precautions, and advice from your eye doctor, you can still enjoy your favorite games without compromising your vision.

What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?

CVS refers to the symptoms of prolonged use of computers, tablets, e-readers, and cell phones. It’s the price our eyes pay for engaging in continuous and focused screen time.

Causes of Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain isn’t solely caused by the devices we use. Rather, extended periods of intense focus on a single task without sufficient breaks can strain our eyes. This strain can also happen when engaging in activities like reading or driving for long stretches without pausing.

Digital devices, however, make this issue more prevalent. Digital screens demand more from our eyes, making them work harder than usual. Factors such as screen glare, suboptimal contrast levels, poor posture, and uncorrected vision issues can further intensify the symptoms of digital eye strain.

Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome

CVS manifests in a variety of ways. Recognizing these symptoms can help address digital eye strain and prevent further discomfort or complications.

It’s important to listen to what your body is telling you and seek professional help when necessary. Here are the most frequently encountered symptoms:

  • Eyestrain: Extended screen time can lead to eye discomfort, often described as a stinging or burning sensation. It’s typically a result of not taking adequate breaks during prolonged periods of focusing on digital screens.
  • Headaches: Persistent headaches are common with CVS. These are often tension headaches resulting from the strain your eyes undergo while trying to focus on digital screens for extended periods.
  • Blurred Vision: Difficulty maintaining clear focus, especially after long sessions in front of a screen, is another sign of digital eye strain. This blurred vision can persist even after disengaging from your screen, affecting your overall visual experience.
  • Dry Eyes: When we stare at digital screens, our blink rate often decreases, leading to dryness in the eyes. It can result in a gritty feeling as if there’s something in your eye. It’s crucial to remember to blink regularly and use lubricating eye drops if dry eyes persist.
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain: This may seem unrelated to eye health, but poor digital device posture can lead to neck and shoulder discomfort. Leaning into screens, hunching over keyboards, or craning your neck to see poorly placed monitors can put undue stress on your neck and shoulder muscles.

The Effects of Video Games on the Eyes

Extended video gaming sessions can lead to CVS symptoms. The immersive nature of video games can make it easy to forget to take breaks and blink regularly, leading to dry and tired eyes.

How to Protect Your Eyes When Playing Video Games

While it’s clear that excessive video gaming can affect your eyes, it doesn’t mean you need to give up your passion. Playing video games isn’t inherently bad for your eyesight. It’s the excess and absence of care that leads to issues. Here are some steps you can take to protect your eyes:

  1. Take a Break: Regularly pause your game and rest your eyes.
  2. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  3. Adjust Your Environment: Modify your workspace to reduce glare, adjust brightness, and correct your posture.
  4. Use an Anti-Glare Screen: This can help reduce eye strain.
Close-up of a young man receiving an eye exam from a female optometrist, who is using a specialized machine to examine his eyes.

Prioritizing Eye Health in the Digital Age

While it’s clear that prolonged video gaming and excessive screen time can impact your eye health, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to abandon your digital life. Instead, it’s about finding a balance and adopting habits that help protect and preserve your vision.

At Total Vision Sports Arena, we understand the demands of the digital world and are committed to helping you navigate it without compromising your vision. Our comprehensive eye care services are designed to help address digital eye strain and other vision-related issues. We’re passionate about eyes and dedicated to providing total vision care.

Contact us if you’re feeling the strain from those marathon gaming sessions. Let’s work together to help make sure your eyes remain healthy and vibrant in this digital age. Book an appointment with our experienced team today!

Written by Total Vision

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