How Do Video Games Affect Your Vision?

How Do Video Games Affect Your Vision?In the past, when kids were not in school, they mostly spent their time roaming the outdoors, playing games with friends and exploring the surrounding area.

Likewise, adults spent a large amount of their leisure time enjoying the outdoors, having barbecues, taking hikes, or pursuing home improvement projects.

Times have changed, however, and an increasing number of people of all ages are using their free time for digital entertainment.

This new world of computer screens and high-definition televisions force our eyes to overcome different challenges than the great outdoors, and with these new challenges comes new hazards and damage to our eyesight, as well as some surprising benefits.

Video games, as a pastime, have existed for just over 30 years, and their popularity increases every year. The current crop of home video game consoles have sold over 100 million units in North America alone, an unprecedented level of marketplace saturation for the video game industry.

So what effects can this increasingly popular hobby have on the eyesight of its devotees? The answer may surprise you.

Vision Dangers

Most video games require lengthy involvement to finish any particular game, forcing the player to stay focused on the screen during their playtime.

This can lead to the same issues caused by long-term television watching, including headaches, blurred vision, and even nearsightedness if frequent breaks aren’t taken to relax your eyes.

Prolonged bouts of video gaming can also cause symptoms very similar to Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS. Computer Vision Syndrome, as the name suggests, is caused by staring at a computer screen for an extended period of time without any significant breaks.

CVS, and the similar symptoms related to video games, can include blurry vision, eye irritation and light sensitivity, not to mention neck and shoulder pain.

These problems, except for the neck and shoulder pain, are caused by the way computers and televisions draw images on their screens using pixels. The neck and shoulder pain is caused by improper positioning of the computer monitor or television.

Protecting Your Vision

All of the dangers posed to your vision are easily addressed. Here’s a simple list of steps you can take to minimize the impact video games have on your eyesight:

  • Make certain to position yourself properly. When playing a video game on a television, the player should be six to 10 feet from the screen. If using a computer, the very top of the monitor should be roughly at eye level.
  • Take frequent breaks. Most vision specialists recommend taking a break every 20 to 30 minutes. During this break, look off into the distance to allow your eyes time to rest. Don’t force your eyes to focus on specific details of distant objects, just give them a rest as you take in the scene as a whole. Some optometrists also suggest looking at a distant object every 10 minutes, for 10 seconds at a time, throughout your work day or intense video game session; that what we call the 10-10-10 Rule.
  • Reduce glare. Glares from other light sources or windows can force your eyes to work harder than they need to. Turn your television or monitor until no glare is visible to reduce the risk of eye strain.

Aside from the preventative measures listed above, it should be noted that proper nutrition is also important for maintaining healthy vision. Here’s a short list of a few of the nutrients important for maintaining healthy eyesight:

  • Vitamin A: This is the big one. Vitamin A helps the retina function properly, and research has shown that it could also help reduce the effects of age-related vision problems. Carrots, and other yellow, orange, or red vegetables, are excellent sources of this nutrient.
  • Lutein: this substance is found naturally in the retina, and can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Lutein can also be found in yellow, orange, and red vegetables.
  • Selenium: Selenium helps your body absorb other nutrients and vitamins. The best places to find Selenium is in walnuts and seafood.

These aren’t the only important nutrients for vision maintenance, and the full list can seem quite daunting.

That’s why it’s recommended to take a multivitamin supplement, to make certain your eyes are getting the help they need. We do offer our own special blend of nutrients in the Rebuild Your Vision Ocu-Plus Formula, but so long as it has all of the necessary vitamins and minerals, any supplement can help. Make sure to do your research before buying.

Video Game Benefits

All of this discussion about the hazards of digital entertainment might lead some readers to believe that video games are all risk, no reward, and this is far from the case. Video games can help both children and adults improve in several important areas.

Hand-eye-coordination is an obvious one, but visual attention is less so. Visual attention, for those unfamiliar with the term, is the ability to focus on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things.

Playing action-oriented video games can give visual attention a boost, along with visual reaction time and visual ground discrimination.

Action games also improve a skill that traditionally deteriorates with age. Known as contrast sensitivity function, this ability allows people to differentiate between shades of colors displayed with a uniform background.

This ability is vital for reading, as well as driving at night, and it’s one of the first to fade with age.

It’s important to note, most of these benefits come from playing action-oriented video games only.

A study was performed comparing action games to a popular life-simulation title, and only the action games provided discernible benefits to the abilities listed above.

So, parents can breathe a sigh of relief. With healthy gaming habits, kids aren’t ruining their eyesight by playing video games, and both kids and adults can enjoy exciting benefits from their gaming.

Just make sure to take those breaks, eat the right foods or take a multivitamin, and, of course, go outside from time to time!

About the Author

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics with the dreams of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science degree in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he and his brother decided to start Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent over a decade studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.

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93 responses to “How Do Video Games Affect Your Vision?”

  1. Meralyn says:

    Thanks for that article it was very helpful. With the increased use of iPads, tablets and smart phones, we are using screens a lot closer to our eyes. What impact does that have on our vision?

  2. Shashi prakash says:

    My kid’s eyes were spoiled because of excessive playing on the computer. I totally agree with this article. I bought your kit to get his vision corrected without glasses. We are getting great results already. It’s been a couple weeks now that he has been practicing exercises. Only problem I am finding is that he is restless and it is hard to keep him focused on the exercises for the specified duration. Perhaps the duration can be shortened for kids? My son is 10 years old.

    • Tyler Sorensen says:

      Congratulations on your success! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the earlier you can teach them, the better. Consistency is the key, so short, more frequent durations might be best for shorter attention spans. Good luck and continued success!

  3. isabelle says:

    I am doing a science fair project on this

  4. lesley says:

    Want to find out bout the background researc

  5. William says:

    Do video game give you LOTS of medical problems

  6. Yaseen says:

    Thnx so much

  7. Anonymous says:

    hahahahaha video games 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Listen,  I am addicted to video games and this isn’t a lie. First time I played video games for a day straight(yesterday Lol) I have a terrible headache, so bad, I was took out of school today actually, I didn’t go!!!

  9. Meghan says:

    I am writing a research paper about how technology affects your vision and this was a great source! Loved how you incorporated and talked about something that everyone can relate to! Blog was full of great information, very helpful and informative! I also loved the ways to protect your vision! Those will be great for my presentation and I will definitely listen to those to help protect my vision! Great blog keep it up!

  10. Meghan says:

    I am writing a research paper about how technology affects your vision and this was a great source! Loved how you incorporated and talked about something that everyone can relate to! Blog was full of great information, very helpful and informative! I also loved the ways to protect your vision! Those will be great for my presentation and I will definitely listen to those to help protect my vision! Great blog, Thanks!

  11. cool guy says:

    This was helpful. Thanks!!

  12. Angel says:

    No it doesn’t it is good for you

  13. Video gamer says:

    This is helpful for my Science fair project.

  14. fred says:

    scince project

  15. Blank ______________ says:

    I found this article really helpful for my argumentative essay about vediogames being bad

  16. NOOB says:

    I need help on the project………please help me.

  17. TTT says:

    I am doing this topic on informationfull report

  18. Kelvan says:

    does it really hurt your eyes

  19. Kelvan says:

    does it make you violent

  20. Person says:

    Thanks so much for wrighting this I have started to get scensitve eyes and don’t wont to have to get glass so I can now know what to do when playing games and this will be really help full

  21. Nicole says:

    I am concerned. My 9 year old plays on his tablet a lot. He also plays video games on the television. I have noticed recently a lot of blinking, eye rubbing and twitching- while playing on the devices and off. I obviously will be limiting his use from here on out. I will be getting him in to see a specialist as well. Should I be terrible concerned??? the appointment is a MONTH away?!! He said his eyes don’t hurt.


    Paranoid Mom

  22. Jaibir Kalsi says:

    I was playing on laptop my eyes were burning and from eyes tears were coming and i was upset about that my mother took me to eye specialist he said your eyes becoming poor then my uncle told me to see on crome about eye vision when i read this passage i was suprised and i promised that i would not play games on laptop or mobile

  23. hots boost says:

    I have never been into the discussion about the negative effects of video and computer games, but apart from violence, self-control and other frequently mentioned drawbacks, I think vision is probably the most seriously affected aspect of our lives. Of course it is hard to say that specifically games affect the eye sight of our children as it is actually the computer screen and the extensive amount of time they spend playing that are the cause of such issue.

  24. panpour says:

    I like this article! ill recommend this to kids!

  25. dude says:

    what if violent people watch and play more vigilant things

  26. Kayleena says:

    how does playing video games in the dark affect a persons visual acuity?

  27. cheyenne says:

    thats nice to know

  28. Anonymous says:

    vidio gaemes are dum adn verry stoopid

  29. Jenny Badillo says:

    My son has Lazy eye(Right) he just failed the Navy vision test and was told he did not qualify to enlist, will this help with his lazy eye? they said his depth perception was not good and his distant visual acuity would not be corrected with spectacles

  30. franky says:

    video games hurt my eyes

  31. Jake P says:

    Thank you so much!

    I’ve recently been playing a lot of video games and have realized how it affects me and what I’ve been doing wrong.

    I’m beginning to do these steps and ready to be changed!

  32. Nunya says:

    i love this article…it helps me a lot

  33. bru says:

    soo this is why get headaches, because I don’t take any breaks I always think im going to fall or somethin’

  34. Peyton says:

    This paper really helped for my paper for school thank you so much.

  35. Marsha says:

    I have a grandson who plays video games or his tablet non-stop. I have warned his mother but I talk to deaf ears. He is on his games from 3 30pm til 9pm every night and from 8am til 11pm on the weekends. He complains of terrible headaches, back hurting, his blood pressure goes sky high and yet his mother doesn’t see a problem. As a grandmother is there anything I can help with. Thank you.

  36. leganed36 says:

    it is totaly reasanbel why our eyes go blind

  37. Anonymous says:

    the best source ever lmao

  38. video games are bad for your eyes says:

    this helped my video game research

  39. Menno Wi says:

    Hi! I play alot of osu (very fast rythem game where you have to hit circles at the right time.) and it has really improved alot of my skills, including reaction time, “reading”(as in the ability to comprehend things that move very Quick.) and ofcourse rythem.
    So I would say playing certain types of video games train certain types of skills!

    I found this article very helpfull as I Will keep these tips in mind!

  40. Yashwant Singh Pagaria India says:

    Nice article ,
    Children must avoid video games one child in India became mad like
    Thanks to Mr Tyler sir

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