How to Create an Eye-Healthy Gaming Setup

Written by Donna Morgan


The global rise in gaming shows no signs of slowing down. According to recent reports, the average gamer spends about eight hours playing weekly. In the US alone, about two-thirds of adults have said their gaming time has swelled. Similarly, Ofcom studies found that Brit gamers increased their gaming time by 25%. Now, while gaming does have its benefits, like improved cognitive stimulation, excessive screen time can be harmful. More specifically, too much gaming can cause eye issues. As per the American Optometric Association (AOA), many gamers experience vision problems, and nearly half of all gamers have already been diagnosed with ocular conditions.

That said, you can make your gaming habit more eye-friendly. Starting with your setup, you can make your gaming experience more enjoyable for you and your eyes.

Consider the right eye level

It might seem inconsequential, but the level at which your eyes are viewing a screen can play a big role. Naturally, the eyes are designed to view things straight on with a slight downward gaze. However, most gaming monitors are set up in such a way that the eyes are drawn higher up than normal. On top of this, many gamers unintentionally end up too close to their monitors. When the eyes are too close to something, they are forced to work double time in order to focus and absorb all the finer details.

To ensure your eyes are working comfortably, keep your monitor at least arm’s length away, with the top of the screen slightly below your eyes. If your monitor happens to be rigid or attached to a gaming laptop, you can always make use of risers or gaming mounts. Additionally, you can make use of a gaming chair with ergonomic properties. These usually come with adjustable headrests that ensure your head is not titling in awkward angles that your eyes will need to compensate for.

Invest in blue light protection

Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum that is emitted by the sun and many artificial sources, like gaming monitors. When the eyes are overexposed to the blue-violet light on this spectrum, it can cause visual discomfort and retinal damage. Some studies have even found that the visual distress that excessive blue light causes can result in sleep problems, lack of focus, and reduced reaction time.

Fortunately, there is tech available today that can combat this. One of the most popular options is blue light glasses. Also called computer glasses, this eyewear is available with and without prescriptions and uses a special coating that filters out blue-violet light within the 400 to 455nm range. This means while your eyes are protected from the potentially harmful blue-violet light, the wavelengths integral for visual acuity and color comprehension still safely pass through your eyes. For gamers, having a pair of these glasses on hand can help you play comfortably for longer. If you really want to take your blue light protection up a notch, you can opt for a gaming monitor with low blue light settings. This is meant to reduce the blue light that a screen emits. The only downside to this is that not every gaming monitor offers this feature, which is why the glasses may be a safer bet.

Mind your room’s lighting

Often, gamers like to play in dim rooms, so the game on-screen takes centerstage. For those with more dedicated gaming rooms, it’s also pretty common to see that the only lighting comes in the form of more aesthetic lamps or LED strips. While these do help set the vibe and reduce potential distractions, not having the right lighting can dry your eyes. When the screen is the only bright source of light, you blink less as the eyes try to adapt and process the images in front of it.

In order for your lighting not to get in the way, try using strategic light strips. Placing light sources behind your monitor will help offset this brightness, creating a more balanced field of vision. Moreover, this heightens color contrast for your eyes. Just make sure that whatever additional light you add is the same brightness as your screen so the eyes don’t need to keep adjusting. If you find that you still forget to blink, you can also keep some eye drops handy. Having a bottle on your gaming desk can help you lubricate your eyes whenever you need it.

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