Christmas is drawing closer and everybody is hunting for the perfect gift for their loved ones. On the top of many lists will be some of the brand new computer game consoles that have just been launched such as Xbox One or Playstation 4. You will have probably heard that these kind of games can damage the eyes, but you may be surprised to hear that playing certain types of games can help to improve your vision.
Diplopia is a game that can help to improve your 3D vision, and is especially helpful to people who have crossed eye problems. The game helps them to coordinate their eyes by manipulating contrast. Players achieve higher scores when their brain merges two images into one screen, this is when both eyes are working together. Regular play can also help adults who have problems with depth perception and can noticeably improve their eyesight.
For children who have amblyopia (lazy eye), a common treatment is to wear a patch over the good eye to strengthen and stimulate the weaker one. This tried and tested technique works even better when the lazy eye is forced to make lots of detailed judgements, which video games are perfect for.
First person shooting games are great for everyone, even if you don’t have any visual problems. They are so fast paced, that they require extreme attention as your eyes have to pick out tiny details and movements in a fraction of a second. They also build up colour and shape identification which can help to improve the sight of the visually impaired.
We would like to provide a quick guide on how to prevent damaging your eyes during gaming.
- Play in moderation and stop if you experience any redness, watering, eyestrain or headaches.
- Keep up with regular eye examinations and inform your optometrist if you are experiencing any symptoms.
- Keep blinking! When playing gamers blink a third less than in other situations. If the eyes dry out it can cause irritation and even a drop in visual acuity.
- To maintain 20/20 vision, follow the 20/20/20 rule: Take regular breaks at least every 20 minutes, and focus on objects at leasts 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Playing the right kind of games in a healthy setting can stimulate them, train them, increase visual perceptiveness and improve hand to eye coordination. So get playing but most importantly please play safely!