Gaming & Glasses: How To Protect Your Vision
Gaming has been a beloved pastime for millions of people worldwide for decades and is only becoming more popular in today’s digital age. Whether it’s solving intricate puzzles, exploring fantastical worlds, or battling fierce opponents, gaming offers endless entertainment and immersive experiences.
While the thrill and excitement of online gaming can be quite intoxicating, it’s important to understand the potential risks associated with prolonged gaming sessions, particularly regarding our eyes. Prolonged exposure to screens can take a toll on our vision, leading to various eye-related problems such as eye strain and dry eyes.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your vision without having to sacrifice indulging in your favourite games. By adopting the right habits and wearing appropriate eyewear, you can minimise the risks and ensure long-term eye health. In this article, we will explore effective strategies and the importance of wearing gaming glasses for the well-being of our eyes.
The Risks of Prolonged Screen Exposure
Extended hours spent in front of screens, a common occurrence during gaming sessions, pose significant risks to our eyesight. Staring at screens for a prolonged time period causes our eyes to strain and become fatigued, leading to a condition known as Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome.
Digital Eye Strain is characterised by symptoms such as eye discomfort, dryness, redness, blurred vision, and headaches. Continuous focus and concentration required during gaming can lead to infrequent blinking, which exacerbates dryness and contributes to eye discomfort.
Additionally, high-energy visible (HEV) light, which is emitted in large quantities by our screens, is not intended for our eyes to focus on for extended periods of time. This results in our eyes working overtime to compensate when gaming for hours.
Overexposure to blue light from our screens can not only disrupt our melanin production and mess with our sleeping patterns but can also lead to retinal damage contributing to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in older adults.
What are Gaming Glasses?
Gaming glasses are designed with the intention of reducing the potential negative effects of prolonged screen exposure during extended gaming sessions. These glasses come with blue-light-blocking lenses, which filter harmful blue light emitted by our digital screens. They are typically amber or yellow-tinted lenses that selectively absorb a portion of the blue light while allowing other colours to pass through. In addition to blue light filtering, gaming glasses may also have anti-glare or anti-reflective coatings to minimise reflections and glare from screens.
Benefits of Blocking Blue Light
- Minimise Eye Strain: By filtering out significant portions of the blue light emitted by screens, the intensity of blue light that reaches our eyes can be minimised and can help reduce eye strain and discomfort caused by overexposure to a digital screen.
- Improved Sleep Quality: Prolonged exposure to blue light, especially in the evening or nighttime, can disrupt our circadian rhythm and mess with our sleep. By reducing the amount of blue light reaching our eyes with the help of blue light blocking lenses, we can mitigate this disruption and maintain a more consistent sleep schedule.
- Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome Symptoms: Computer Vision Syndrome, or Digital Eye Strain, can cause symptoms like dry eyes, headache, blurred vision, eye strain and even neck or shoulder pain. Blocking blue light from reaching our eyes can help alleviate these symptoms by reducing the level of visual stress our eyes endure.
- Enhance Visual Comfort: Blue light can create glare and reflections on screens, especially games with high contrasts can further contribute to the feeling of flickering and flashing screens. Anti-glare coatings in addition to blue light filters can help reduce these reflections, resulting in a more comfortable gaming experience.
- Long-Term Eye Health: Extended exposure to blue light may also have potential long-term effects on our eye health, including an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration. By minimising the amount of blue light reaching the retina, you can protect your eyes from potential damage and maintain better long-term eye health.
Prescription Gaming Glasses
While gaming glasses usually do not require a prescription, there is the possibility to obtain gaming glasses with your vision correction needs. Prescription gaming glasses offer the same benefits of blue light filtering and glare reduction as regular gaming glasses.
They also provide the added advantage of correcting refractive errors like near- and farsightedness, and astigmatism. This way you will benefit from prescription lenses with specialised features to address your unique needs as a gamer and enjoy the benefits of clear, sharp vision while protecting your eyes from the risks of extended screen exposure.
Other Measures to Protect Your Vision
We tend to blink less frequently than we usually would when we focus on a screen. This can lead to dry and irritated eyes as blinking is responsible for lubricating our eyes. It’s important to take regular breaks from the screens to give you a chance to blink.
During extended gaming periods, the 20-20-20 rule can be a helpful guideline: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. By implementing this habit, you can avoid eye strain and maintain eye moisture.
In addition to taking breaks, think about the lighting conditions in your gaming environment. When you are staring at a bright screen in a dark room, your eyes have to work harder to adjust to the contrasting light levels. Good lighting and a well-lit gaming environment will ensure optimal eye comfort and reduce eye strain and fatigue.
It is also essential to keep a suitable distance from your screen as the strain on your eyes can worsen if you are sitting too close to your screen. As a general rule, it is best to sit 1.5 to 2.5 times the diagonal length of your screen away.
Additionally, using eye drops can help with lubricating your eyes and relieve symptoms if you continue to experience eye strain and dryness.
Wearing gaming glasses during prolonged gaming sessions can greatly enhance your eye health and sleep quality, according to numerous studies. So whether you are a competitive gamer or enjoy gaming as your favourite pastime, these glasses can improve your performance and overall experience as well as shield your retinas from harmful blue light and maintain long-term eye health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between gaming glasses and regular glasses?
Gaming glasses are speciality glasses designed to optimise and enhance visual performance for digital screen use. They typically have features like blue light filtering lenses to reduce eye strain from device screens, specially engineered lens tints and coatings to increase contrast and reduce glare, and ergonomic frames for improved comfort over long gaming or computer sessions. The goal of gaming glasses is to provide visual aid and clarity when spending extended periods of time staring at screens.
Do gaming glasses work?
There is evidence that gaming glasses can provide some benefits for gamers and frequent computer users. The blue light filtering lenses block out harmful high-energy visible (HEV) blue light wavelengths from screens that can lead to eye strain and disruption of sleep cycles. This allows gamers to play for longer with reduced eye fatigue. The lens treatments also help increase screen contrast and reduce distracting glare.
What do gaming glasses do?
Gaming glasses are designed to:
- Filter out blue light from screens to reduce digital eye strain
- Increase contrast and visual clarity by reducing glare and optimising light transmission
- Allow for longer, more comfortable gaming sessions by alleviating eye fatigue
- Decrease headaches and discomfort associated with long hours of screen time
- Enhance gaming performance by improving focus and visual accuracy
- Prevent disruption of circadian rhythms and sleep cycles caused by blue light exposure
The key benefits are eye protection and enhanced vision for optimal gaming performance, but the technology can also provide comfort and focus for any prolonged computer tasks. High-quality gaming glasses use specialised lens treatments and coatings to achieve these benefits.