ATLANTA, GA (March 21, 2018) – From fantasy football to candy matching to race car competitions, the popularity of video games is on the rise with every player looking for an edge. Whether battling a computer opponent or Player Two, one secret weapon can help players hit a high score: the Georgia Optometric Association’s (GOA) 20-20-20 rule that encourages gamers to give their eyes a 20-second rest every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away.
According to a national survey, the American Optometric Association’s 2017 American Eye-Q®, 41 percent of Americans spend more than four hours a week playing video games. Staring at digital devices can lead to digital eye strain, sleep problems, blurred vision, headaches and neck and shoulder pain, among other things. Yet, only 21 percent of Eye-Q® respondents have talked to an eye health professional about the amount of time spent playing video games.
In addition to encouraging players to discuss game usage with an optometrist, Dr. Nhung Brandenburg, president of the Georgia Optometric Association, is sharing some insider tips on how to help ease eye discomfort during this year’s Save Your Vision Month in March.
Level up with the AOA 20-20-20 rule: When you are using any electronic gaming device or computer, make a conscious effort every day to take a 20-second break and look away from the screen, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
Position yourself: Maintain a comfortable working distance from your gaming device by using the zoom feature to see small print and details, rather than bringing the device closer to your eyes.
Beat the glare: The AOA recommends reducing the glare by adjusting device settings or using a glare filter to decrease the amount of blue light reflected from the screen.
Consider buying protective eyewear: Experiment with blue light filter glasses to limit the blue light beaming from your screen.
Power down before you turn in: Turn your digital devices off at least one hour before bed.
Schedule an appointment: Contact [Dr. Name] to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam to detect and address vision problems.
“People who spend an excessive amount of time in front of screens may experience physical discomfort, like the nearly one-third of gamers who reported headaches or blurry vision in our survey,” said ,” said Dr. Nhung Brandenburg, president of the Georgia Optometric Association. “Save Your Vision Month is the perfect time to prioritize eye health by practicing the 20-20-20 rule.”
Symptoms of too much gaming and overuse of digital devices:
digital eye strain
eye irritation (burning and stinging)
neck and shoulder pain
If you think you are experiencing any of these symptoms due to prolonged exposure to digital devices, schedule an appointment with your doctor of optometry. To find an optometrist in your area use the doctor locator with the convenient ZIP code search at www.GOAeyes.com.