Keep Your Eyes Fit with Responsible Gaming and Screen Time Management

January 5th, 2021
Tired stressed male worker taking off glasses, person massaging nose bridge suffering from headache and trying to relieve pain. Despaired man frustrated after reading company collapse or failure news

If you’ve got a new Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or even a smartphone or tablet, enjoy! They’ll keep you engaged for hours on cold winter days, but what about your eyes? Managing screen time is important. Take time out, even from MMORPGs that keep you connected and involved, sometimes avoiding even meals and bathroom breaks.

Our team of eye doctors treats computer vision syndrome and other screen-related eye conditions for many of our patients. At ICON Eyecare, the top eye doctors in Colorado, we know that with new screen-based gear it’s hard to think of anything else but the great response times, vivid graphics, and awesome new games!

A Growing Problem

Screen time problems start small, developing into infections and other serious conditions from basic issues such as dry eye. Staring, often nearly without blinking, at your text messages, driving games, and other engaging screen activities can result in abnormal eye use and eye health problems. Screen time lengths exceeding about 20 minutes without a significant break can start to cause eye health problems including:

  • Double Vision
  • Dry Eyes
  • Eye Strain and Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Trouble Focusing and Concentrating
  • Irritated, Red Eyes

For young people, add:

  • Nearsightedness from lack of varied eye focusing
  • Retinal Damage from strong blue light

Sleep Effects

  • Vision-Related Sleep Disruption from strong light, especially blue screen light, just before bedtime

A Few Positive Effects of Gaming

Gaming is also vision training that may help improve and preserve your visual skills. You may benefit from improved hand-eye coordination and response to visual stimuli from game-related brain development. Better visual attention can help with sports and job-related vision activities. Your ability to see and react based on slight variations in contrast can also improve. Many of these benefits can help with driving, especially at night.

Managing Your Screen Time for Eye Health and Physical Health, Too

Your overall health affects your eyes, so we encourage you to take breaks, stay hydrated and eat well, and relax away from your gaming systems and other devices. Use the features many devices now include to remind you about break times. Try taking an eye strain break every twenty minutes for five minutes and be aware of the distance between you and your screen, minimum six feet for larger displays. Most handheld devices now include a setting to reduce the blue light emitted from the screen so consider using that too, especially before bedtime.

Life here in Colorado can challenge your eyes through the intense sun, dryness, wind, and now even your entertainment devices. You can rely on the top eye doctors in Colorado to address your eye strain concerns and screen for common eye conditions. Call us for an appointment.