Although our parents were constantly telling us otherwise, new research suggests that playing video games can actually improve our eyesight.
That’s according to Sharon Copeland of Feel Good Contacts, a UK based opticians. She claims that playing video games regularly can help to keep our sight healthy as we age. So much for getting square eyes by sitting too close to the TV…
Too good to be true?
The first area that video games can improve our sight is via visual acuity. This refers to how clear or sharp we perceive things. Usually, our visual acuity tends to deteriorate as we get older. However, playing fast paced video games apparently helps to keep this in check. By playing fast paced games like Call of Duty, it constantly challenges our eye muscles to move and focus quickly. As such, this acts as exercise for our eyes and retains our visual acuity.
Copaland believes that another benefit of playing games like shooters is that it can help to boost our peripheral vision. ‘While the player may be focused on where they are shooting, their brain is absorbing the whole screen, which often features moving people and objects in the background,’ she says.
‘Therefore, they are training their peripheral vision, which is incredibly beneficial in real life when noticing things such as trees, moving cars or people.’ Who knew that playing video games might turn us into safer drivers?
Finally, Copeland believes that video games can help to improve amblyopia, or ‘lazy eye syndrome’. This usually occurs when the brain doesn’t process enough information from one eye and begins to favour the other over time. A study tracked children who played video games with an eye patch over several sessions. These children ended up showing a dramatic improvement in their amblyopia.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows…
While video games might have some benefits for our eye health, there’s no doubt that there are risks, too. Looking at a screen for too long can cause eye strain, which involves eye fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches. To combat that, you can enable the nightlight feature included on Macbooks and Windows computers. Alternatively, you can invest in some bluelight filter glasses. Oakley and Turtle Beach recently launched a new line of blue light filter glasses aimed specifically at gamers.
The research was conducted as part of National Eye Health Week here in the UK. The initiative aims to promote better eye health for all and the need for regular eye tests. If you’ve not had one for a while, now might be a good time ot get one booked.
Are you surprised to hear that video games might actually be good for your eye health? Let us know across our social channels!
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[Featured Image Credit: Nielsen.com]