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Gamer Eye Sight

Ask any gamer which of their 5 senses (or 6, if you believe in Spidey-sense) is most important to them, and the hands-down answer will be their eyesight. Gamers rely on healthy eyesight to play virtually all computer games.

How Extended Screentime Can Hurt (Your Eyes)

Whether you're a hardcore gamer, an Internet junkie or a movie buff, spending hours in front of a computer monitor or TV screen can wreak havoc on your eyesight. If you've experienced eyestrain, dry eyes, fuzzy vision, headaches and/or neck and upper shoulder pain while gaming, chances are good you might have Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

According to the American Optometric Association, the frequency and severity of CVS symptoms is directly related to screen time duration - the longer you spend gaming, the more severe the symptoms. Pre-existing vision problems like astigmatism, poor eye coordination or age-related vision loss can all aggravate the symptoms of CVS.

Gaming-related vision problems develop because looking at a screen is hard work (for your eyes, that is). Your eyes have to fight to focus in on the rapid movements while combatting the glare and unnaturally close viewing angles - let's face it, with the exception of a TV or computer screen, you don't usually spend hours staring at something that's less than a few feet away from you, right?

Ironically, gaming can also lead to weakening of the eye muscles. How so? Because your eyes aren't designed to focus on a fixed location for hours on end. Doing so can cause the muscles around your eyes to become fatigued, leading to blurry vision.

Want to protect your eyesight from the dangers of the screen? Read on for some great tips and tricks on how to not only preserve your vision, but maybe even enhance it!

Don't Forget to Blink

It might sound obvious, but one of the leading causes of eye strain for gamers is caused by vision fixation - a common occurrence for all screen users. Ever watch a little kid watching TV? They don't blink, and chances are, you don't either. Make a conscious effort to blink while gaming. This will help prevent dry eyes, the leading cause of eye strain and soreness.

Hey You, Look Over Here!

To prevent the negative effects of screen fixation, regularly look away from the monitor, focusing your eyes on an object that is 10-20 feet away. Doing this every 15-20 minutes while gaming will allow your eyes to refocus, helping to minimize eyestrain.

Step Away From The Screen

While brief 'refocus breaks' are a great way to temporarily relieve eyestrain, during marathon gaming sessions your whole body needs a break. For every hour you spend gaming, plan on taking a 10-15 minute break where you get up and walk around. This will help relax your eyes and give you time to attend to other pressing needs, like eating and going to the bathroom.

Eating For Eyesight

Healthy eyes rely on a healthy diet. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two naturally-occurring substances that have been positively linked to better eyesight. Researchers believe that these substances help to prevent harmful blue light from reaching the back of the eye and damaging the retina, acting as a type of 'edible sunglasses'. Zeaxanthin and lutein occur naturally in many fruits and veggies, including:

  • Mangos
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Dark lettuce

Limit Sugar
Protecting your vision also means limiting your intake of refined sugars. Obesity and excessive consumption of refined sugars is one of the leading causes of adult-onset (type 2) diabetes, the leading cause of vision loss in America today. Consider cutting down on (or even eliminating) sodas, sweets and processed foods from your diet - your eyes, and your waistline, will thank you.

Vision-Boosting Workouts and Breaks

Eye Breaks
Give your eyes frequent breaks with the following techniques for eyesight longevity.

  1. Blinking
    Make a conscious effort to blink on occasion while gaming.

    Benefit: One of the leading causes of eye strain for gamers is caused by vision fixation, blinking helps with this.

  2. Focus Break
    While gaming take a few second breaks every 5 - 10 minutes and focus on an object around the room, choose a different object each time. If playing for over an hour, get up and walk around.

    Benefit: One of the leading causes of eye strain for gamers is caused by vision fixation, vision breaks were you change focus helps with this.

  3. Palming
    Cup your hands over your eyes with your elbows on your desk or knees. Concentrate on your breathing for 2 - 5 minutes, depending on how your eyes feel.

    Benefit: This is an easy way to rest your eyes and take a relaxing break.

Eye Exercises
Want to flex your visual muscles? Check out these simple eye exercises you can do to actually strengthen your eyesight.

  1. Eight Tracing
    Imagine a figure 8 on its side 5 meters in front of you. Now trace along the figure 8 with your eyes slowly. Do this for 2 minutes in one direction and then 2 minutes in the reserve direction.

    Benefit: This exercises your eye muscles and increases their flexibility.

  2. Focus Switching
    Hold out your arm with your fist in a thumbs up position. Breath in as you focus on your thumb, then breath out and focus on an object 5 to 10 meters away. Repeat this for 2 to 5 minutes.

    Benefit: This will strengthen the muscles in your eyes over time and improve your vision overall.

  3. Zoom Focus
    Stretch out your arm with your fist in a thumbs up position. Focus on your thumb, now bring your thumb slowly closer to your face, all the time keeping focus on it. Stop once your thumb is 5inches in front of your face. Then move your thumb slowly back. Repeat this for 2 minutes. Benefit: This exercise will strengthen your focussing and your eye muscles in general.

Benefits for Gamers

Gamer Eyesight Improved Vision, Accuracy, Gamer Longevity
Gamers rely on healthy eyesight to play virtually all computer games, keep your eyes healthy for improved accuracy and longevity as a gamer.


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References:
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com
American Optomertic Association: http://www.aoa.org
Digital Trends: http://www.digitaltrends.com

Vitality Habits

BreakFast: Fruit Only

BreakFast

Fruit Only (Breakfast till Midday)

Healthy Gamer Snacks: Fruit and Nuts

Gamer Snacks

Fruit, Nuts and other healthy options

Lunch/Dinner: Salad or Vegetables

Lunch/Dinner

Vegetables and Salad to make up 75% of your meal.

Fitness

Fitness

Fat Burning Jog, be active.

Drink Water

Drink Healthy

Water and Fresh Juice

Gamer Posture

Posture

Good Gaming Posture.
Yoga, Pilates or a Core Strengthening exercise.

Oxygen

Oxygen

Conscious breathing technique assists with your bodies health.

Eye Sight

Eye Sight

Take care of your Eye Sight.

Healthy Hearing

Hearing

Take care of your Hearing.

Mindset

Brain

The brain is the control centre of your whole body, "Healthy Mind, Healthy Body".

Vitality Challenge

Disclaimer
The information and advice presented on the vitalityforgamers.com website are meant as a guide to assist the user in adopting healthier habits for a Healthier Gaming Lifestyle or other health achievements. Please, apply these well-known principles in a safe manner. The reader bears all responsibility for using or applying any techniques or ideas outlined in the vitalityforgamers.com website. Consult with your physician before starting any health or exercise programs.