Smartphones, tablets and computers are day-to-day essentials for many people. Whether you’re using your device for work or leisure, it can be hard to take your eyes off the screen. In fact, studies show that, on average, Americans spend more than 10 hours a day in front of screens, with at least one hour of that spent on playing video games.
With this amount of screen time every day, your eyesight can be negatively affected. Eye strain is just one of the most common consequences, but the impact on your vision can be long-term too.
In this article, Nova Vision Center, a trusted provider of professional eye exam services, shares a few tips to help minimize eye strain while playing video games. We also discuss how gaming can be used to benefit your vision.
Preventing Eye Strain
Experts recommend limiting your screen time to three hours if possible. Exceeding this amount of screen time can lead to computer vision syndrome (CVS), which is typically marked by dry eyes, eye strain and pain in the neck and shoulders.
If a three-hour screen time isn’t feasible for you, there are still ways you can protect your eyes and minimize eye strain:
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule in which you look away from your screen every 20 minutes to look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This helps rest your eyes, reducing the risk of CVS.
- Wear eyeglasses with an anti-reflective coating so that you can protect your eyes from computer glare.
- Ensure appropriate lighting in the room as well as the proper settings for your screen. If your screen is set on a low contrast, it can put a strain on your eyes.
The Positive Effects of Video Gaming
Despite all the negative effects that excessive video gaming can cause, playing in moderation can actually have a positive impact on your vision. In fact, some vision therapists use video games to treat vision problems such as amblyopia. Some experts believe that “action” video games can improve your skills for driving at night, reading and other visual activities.
Nova Vision Center, your local eye doctor and vision expert, takes pride in its expertise in family eye care. Call us at (703) 291-0080 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We offer our services to customers in Arlington and Falls Church, VA.