How to protect children's eyes from video games

How to protect children's eyes from video games

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Around 30% of the visual disturbances of children who visit the optician's are a consequence of the use of video games and other electronic devices. In addition, with changes in habits and an increase in sedentary lifestyle, this percentage is increasing.

Video games exercise skills in children and can even help more active children to concentrate, but on the contrary, it can also lead to vision problems in children.

As indicated Elvira Jimenez, Optician-Optometrist and Master in Clinical Optometry from ALAIN AFFLELOU, video game players require a series of physical conditions such as' good visual acuity (good distance vision), binocular vision to see a single image and in depth, good ocular motility to follow the movement of objects, accommodation to focus at different distances, wide visual field and good eye-hand coordination. If any of these skills fail us, we will start to have visual problems like blurred and / or double vision, headaches, eye pain, redness and irritation, dry or watery eyes'.

How important is how we deal with the consumption of video games as the exposure time that we are before them. According to the expert from ALAIN AFFLELOU, 'excessive use of video games can cause significant variation in visual acuity and can trigger myopia in later life, conjunctival hyperemia or dry eye problems'.

Wherever we use video games (television, mobile phones, computer or tablets), we have to know that their use can alter the visual performance of the person, which includes interaction with the environment, lighting, reflections, nervous system fatigue, postures inappropriate, etc. The new generation 2.0 permanently connected to screens you are in danger of having vision problems.

But let's not forget, if we know how to use them with knowledge, video games also have positive consequences As the improvement of the concentration capacity of the children that contributes to improve the coordination or the increase of reflexes and the visual memory; so much so, that there are specific video games for the treatment of lazy eye.

- Elvira Jimenez recommends playing video games for a maximum of 30-40 minutes and, if the game lasts longer, the ideal is to take breaks every 20 minutes.

- To avoid any type of complication, the Alain Afflelou Foundation recommends conduct periodic reviews, especially in the case of children, since performing a complete visual examination can detect and treat these alterations in time, something of utmost importance at an early age since between 15% and 30% of school failure is caused by untreated visual disturbances.

Elvira Jimenez

Optician - Optometrist of the Alain Afflelou Foundation

(Quantitative data from the National College of Opticians)

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