Gaming can be a great way to relax after work or on your day off. And even if a gaming console is an expense that you're not interested in, PC gaming is very accessible to most people who own a computer for personal, professional, or educational use. However, if you spend a lot of hours on your home PC playing games, you may start to experience signs of eyestrain, like headaches, visual disturbances, and sore or tired eyes. Take a look at some ways that you can protect your eyes while indulging in your gaming hobby.
Consider Computer Glasses
Whether or not you already wear prescription glasses, you may want to consider getting a pair of computer glasses to wear when you spend extended periods of time sitting in front of a computer screen, such as when you're gaming.
Computer glasses have an anti-reflective coating that's designed to reduce the glare on the screen. The lenses can either be dipped into the coating, or the coating can be ionized onto the lens while the lens is being made. Lenses that have the anti-reflective coating ionized or "baked on" are usually of better quality than dipped lenses, as the dipped coating can more easily crack and peel off.
Computer glasses are also often tinted, usually in yellow. The tint helps increase the screen's contrast so that your eye muscles don't have to work as hard to focus on the screen. You can purchase a non-prescription pair of computer glasses if you have 20/20 vision. If you already wear glasses, ask your optometrist about having a prescription pair of computer glasses made for gaming. An optometrist like those at EyeCare About Vegas: Dr. R Dougal Morrison & Dr. Christopher Coker may be able to help.
Obey The 20-20-20 Rule
It's easy to get absorbed in your game and forget to look up for long periods of time. However, this absorption can contribute to eyestrain and harm your vision. Eye experts suggest the 20-20-20 rule as a way to help ensure that your eyes get a break.
The rule is simple. Every 20 minutes, you should look up from your screen and focus on something that's at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. As a reminder, you could try putting a poster up 20 feet away from where you usually play games.
Even Out The Lighting
It's not just the light from the screen that you have to consider; the lighting in the rest of the room contributes to the effect on your eyes. It's a good idea to make sure that the lighting in the room is even—don't play games in a darkened room with one lamp on in a corner. An overhead light is better, as long as it's not a fluorescent light.
The light should be bright enough that you can easily see everything around the room, but not so bright that it creates additional glare on the screen. Of course, natural light is best for your eyes—if you're gaming during the daylight hours, turn off the room lights, open the curtains, and position yourself so that the sunlight isn't reflecting on your computer screen.
If you're using computer glasses, following the 20-20-20 rule, and gaming in a well-lit room, but you're still experiencing signs of eyestrain, make an appointment with your eye doctor. You may need your eyeglass prescription adjusted or further tests to make sure that your eyes are functioning as they should.