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Are Video Games Really Bad for Your Eyes?

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Back in the good old days, children would spend their leisure time outdoors, playing games with friends and exploring the environment. However, times have changed, and a large number of people of all age groups would rather dedicate their time and energy to digital entertainment than have some quality time with family members and friends. The new age of HD televisions and computer screens have brought new challenges for our eyes, most of which involve hazardous consequences for our eyes, coupled with some surprising benefits.

Video games have existed as a pastime activity for over three decades, and their popularity has only increased since then. Nevertheless, what effects can this enjoyable hobby have on your eyesight? Let’s find out.

Possible Hazards

Most video games call for lengthy periods of participation in order to achieve a certain level, forcing the player to stay glued to the screen throughout the playtime. This has the same effect as caused by long-term TV watching, within may include headaches, near sightedness, and blurred vision if frequent pauses are not taken in to relax your eyes. Your eyes perceive video screens differently than flat surfaces, such as books. When looking at some printed material, the eyes and brain understand precisely what distance they need to focus at.

However, when looking at a video screen, the eyes are continuously changing focus, which eventually tires them out. This in turn may make it hard for the eyes to easily focus on other objects, even after turning off the video game for a long period of time. Moreover, constantly gluing your eyes to the screen prevents you from blinking sufficiently, which can affect the flow of tears, thus causing irritation and dryness at times.

Extended bouts of video gaming can cause similar symptoms. Computer Vision Syndrome is a common condition that people experience when they have been staring at a computer screen for a long time without any pauses or breaks. Other symptoms that you may experience include irritated eye, blurred vision, light-sensitive eyes, as well as shoulder and neck pain. These eye issues are a result of the way the televisions and computers create images on their screens with pixels. On the other hand, the shoulder and neck pain is the result of improper posture.

However, video games are not entirely harmful for your eyes, and actually offer a number of benefits. As per the National Institute of Health, studies show that playing action video games improves important aspects of visual processing, which includes spatial resolution, This means that gamers can really see things clearer and more easily. Some eye doctors have even successfully used video game therapy on patients to correct and treat amblyopia, also known as lazy eye.

So, go ahead and enjoy a session of video gaming. But just remember to do it in moderation to keep your eyes in the best shape possible.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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