How gameplay can affect the eyes by Dr Gurjeet Jutley

Protracted periods of time in front of the computer concentrating on games can induce unpleasant symptoms including blurred vision, headaches, fatigue and eye discomfort. The primary reason is the reluctance to take breaks once fully immersed in the game. The focus of the eye constantly changes when concentrating on video screens, potentially causing eye fatigue.

The importance of breaks

Lack of blinking when fully immersed in computer games causes dryness and irritation. It is imperative to try having five-minute breaks every twenty minutes or so. Where possible, it is advisable to aim to have a six-foot minimum from the screen.

Children requiring eye assessment?

Ascertaining ocular symptoms from children is an extremely difficult task. One must look for subtle signs, including:

  • Squeezing the eyes together (‘squinting’)
  • Covering one of the eyes
  • Tilting the head
  • Sitting closer to the TV

The mainstay of managing children is to prevent amblyopia, so called ‘lazy eye’. The signs described may be early signs and it is critical to seek advice and assessment.

Dr Gurjeet Jutley is a consultant ophthalmologist at the John Radcliife Hospital in Oxford and is also a trustee at OAB. Find out more about him at https://gurjeetjutley.com.

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