Video gaming is an activity that is popular around the whole world; it includes children and adults alike. Some have even made a career out of playing their favourite video games. It was reported that the global games market would reach over $500 billion in 2019, with the US overtaking China.

There are approximately over 2 billion gamers across the world, with consoles being the fastest-growing segment. With hours upon hours of video games being played each week, what impact could this have on vision?

Can playing video games have an adverse effect on your eyesight, or eye health? Here we take a look at some of the problems that could be attributed to prolonged video gaming sessions, to help you protect your vision if you are an avid gamer!

How do video games affect your vision?

There are no doubt many of you out there who feel as though they should be wearing glasses for playing video games. In some cases, you might be right. One of the biggest vision problems you might encounter when playing video games is eye strain.

Eye strain can sometimes also be referred to as computer vision syndrome. This is a short-term effect on your vision that usually occurs because you have been focusing on something for a long period of time. It is most commonly caused by digital screens, resulting in tired eyes and headaches.

Other factors such as glare from the screen and poor lighting can have a negative impact on your vision, increasing your chance of experiencing eye strain. Eye strain will usually go away on its own once you have rested and given your eyes a break from the digital screens you were using.

If you play video games for a long period of time, you might experience things like muscle pain or changes to your posture. Often when playing a video game, your posture can become unnatural and almost hunched as you focus, especially if your screen or console isn’t set up in an optimal position.

This can result in changes in your posture in order to see the screen, which may create muscle pain or tension in your neck and shoulders.

How can you look after your vision when playing video games?

As mentioned earlier, wearing glasses for playing video games can sometimes help take the strain off your eyes. Specialised lenses that are optimised for digital screens can help to prevent eye strain, and make it easier on your eyes to see the screen clearly.

By wearing glasses, you’re able to stop your eyes from working too hard. You can also invest in lens coatings that can help to reduce the amount of glare that can come off the screen or your surrounding environment.

Can video games help your vision?

There has been some debate that video games can actually be beneficial for your vision. In America, the AOA suggested it might be good for children to play 3D games in particular because it can help to identify any signs of vision problems; difficulty perceiving 3D images could be a sign of something wrong, which could otherwise go unnoticed.

It has also been suggested that playing action video games can enhance visual processing, along with visual reaction time and visual attention. Visual attention is the ability to focus on one aspect while ignoring others.

However, it’s important to note that it may only benefit your vision in these ways if you are taking the right precautions to maintain healthy vision; including breaks, wearing glasses and following a healthy diet. Taking thorough breaks and days-off by spending time outdoors will be beneficial for your eyes, especially for younger gamers who’s eyes are still growing.

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