The thrill, the action and the effects are all reasons why children, teens and adults are choosing to spend their time playing video games. Although adults make up Canada’s majority of game players, over 90% of children between the ages of 6-17 years identified themselves as gamers, meaning that every 9 in 10 children play video games.
The time where downtime was spent doing outdoors activities has been replaced with kids looking at screens for hours at a time. Looking at the screen for long periods of time will not harm your child’s or your own eyes, but it can make you experience “Computer Vision Syndrome,” otherwise known as CVS, even if you have perfect vision. CVS symptoms include eyestrain, eye irritation and dryness, blurred vision, headaches, light sensitivity, as well as neck and shoulder pain; all symptoms which 64-90% of games reported to have experienced.
Consider the following tips when playing video games, and help ease the stress of video games on your or your child’s eyes:
1. Make sure the space you are playing video games in is eye-friendly
- Did you know that playing video games in a dark room actually hurts your eyes? When you are playing video games in the dark, the contrast between the screen and the room is too great. Therefore, it forces your eyes to constantly work to adjust to the different lighting and leads to visual discomfort.
- By using soft overall lighting in the playroom and adapting the screen’s brightness levels, you are reducing the amount of glare omitted. Additionally, the contrast difference between the screen and the room will be kept to a minimum, which will in turn allow your eyes to have visual compatibility with the image and it will make the picture look sharper.
2. Keep the screen free of finger prints and dust
- By keeping your screen clear of fingerprints and dust, the image will appear sharp and defined, instead of cloudy and blurry.
3. Sit away from the screen
- When playing videos, it is best for you and your children to sit at a distance from the screen; this will allow for the picture to look clearer as the details will appear sharper and better defined. When you sit close to the T.V., the screen lines and defects can distort the image and make it hard for your eyes to focus.
4. Remember to Blink & Take Breaks
- Did you know that on average, a person blinks 12 times per minute? Each time you blink your eye is cleaning out of any surface debris and it lubricates your eyes, keeping your eye clean from irritants. However when you are staring at a screen, the amount of blinking lowers to only 5 times per minute, which can result in dryness and irritation.
- Giving your eyes periodic breaks can help maintain your eyes healthy. When playing video games or staring at a screen for long period of times, use the 20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, allow your eyes to rest by focusing on something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will help reduce the amount of stress your eyes experience and will give your eyes a quick break.
Make sure to keep these tips in mind for long lasting healthy vision, and don’t forget to visit us today for your routine check up!