- Why and how should you take care of your eyes
- American Optometric Association (AOA) and the gaming industry’s collaboration for eye health
Why eye health is important?
A vital component of health care is eye care. Our regular chores require the use of our eyes. Any vision problem could make us more dependent on other people. It has a big impact on our family and neighborhood. Understanding the significance of routine eye care and the procedures to be followed to maintain healthy eyes is necessary.
The eyes are crucial sense organs. The quality of life is substantially decreased by the eye issue. The effects on the family, community, and nation as a whole would be severe if the person lost sight as a result of an eye accident or ocular disorder. A person should receive proper eye care to protect their eyes from common ocular diseases including glaucoma and cataracts. Eye exams not only help to preserve and improve our eyesight, but they can also reveal certain underlying medical issues like diabetes and hypertension.
How to care for your eyes?
When you are aware of how important eye care is, the next question is how to pursue the best possible eye care. There are several methods for caring for the eyes:
Routine ocular examination: To detect any changes in your vision, you should arrange at least one thorough eye exam every year. It will assist you in maintaining the health of your eyes.
Resting your eyes: You should give your eyes some time to rest depending on your level of activity and age. Avoid using your mobile device in low or no light. You should get enough sleep and take regular breaks from the screen.
Taking care of contact lenses: One of the main causes of eye infection and irritation is contact lenses. Be sure to look after your contact lenses. Use a high-quality contact lens solution, and clean your lenses every day. Use the lenses designed for daily usage if you are unable to maintain good cleanliness.
Correct eyewear for the situation: Just as the eye adjusts to environmental conditions, so should your eyeglasses. Blue-light-blocking glasses should be worn while using a computer or mobile device, and UV-protective eyewear should be worn outside.
Eye health should be taken seriously
In collaboration with the gaming industry, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recently established the first-ever Screen Time Alliance to inform Americans about the dangers of spending too much time using digital devices and the impacts it has on eye health.
AOA’s Eye Deserve More, a nationwide public awareness campaign, asserts that every American deserves in-person comprehensive eye care from an optometrist as part of their eye health and general well-being in light of the rise of online and app-based vision services. The Screen Time Alliance emphasizes the increase in screen time, especially among gamers, and demonstrates ways that all gamers, broadcasters, and scrollers can maintain healthy eyes.
More than 227 million Americans play video games, and as gaming and screen time increase, so does the possibility that this will have long-term effects on people’s vision. According to the results of the AOA’s 2022 Gamer Survey, the average gamer spends more than eight hours a day in front of a screen and has dealt with eye-related symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, and impaired vision. Many gamers are aware of the effects prolonged screen time consumption has on eye health, however, less than half (46%) go for an annual complete eye test.
In order to inform gamers and all other screen users about the value of healthy screen time, a professional eye-health association has teamed up with corporations in the gaming industry to form the Screen Time Alliance. Nerd Street Gamers, a national network of e-sports venues, occasions, and content, and Playcrafting, a game-development business, are currently members.
The Alliance wants to encourage consumers to visit an optometrist for an eye exam offline so they may spend more time doing what they enjoy online. The AOA has also created “Eye Health Guidance for Screen Time” to offer players specific instructions on how to customize and enhance their gaming experiences for better eye and general health.
AOA President Dr. James DeVleming remarked, “The creation of the Screen Time Alliance is an essential partner for us, as the majority of Americans spend a significant amount of time on screens and playing video games.” While we can accomplish a lot of things on our screens, obtaining a thorough eye checkup is not one of them. Through in-person examinations, optometrists have a significant impact on a person’s general health since they can identify problems with vision and eye health as well as early indications of systemic disorders including diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, and malignancies.
Jordan Fisher, an actor, singer, songwriter, producer, gamer, and parent will work with the AOA as part of this year’s campaign to inform other gamers and parents about the value of maintaining eye health and to persuade them to adopt healthy screen-time practices.
“I did not realize how it would affect the rest of my body after damaging my cornea years ago. It’s important to adopt healthy screen-time habits since the amount of time I spend on screens—roughly seven hours per day reading, working, gaming, or participating in video conference calls—can be detrimental to my eyes, according to Fisher. “For this reason, undergoing a physical eye check is crucial. Optometrists have the ability to examine your entire body in addition to your eyes. To ensure that my family and I don’t miss any significant life events, I prioritize my eye health.
Some patients might not connect the dots between symptoms like dry eyes and headaches and screens, according to doctors of optometry like Dr. Jason Compton, an AOA member, and avid gamer.
As an optometrist, it is my responsibility to get to know my patients’ routines and behaviors in order to develop individualized recommendations to maintain the health of their eyes and general body, especially since comprehensive eye health is not a one-size-fits-all approach, according to Compton. No matter if you’re a professional gamer, Twitch streamer, casual scroller, or someone who works at a computer all day, it’s important to visit an optometrist in person once a year and develop healthy screen time and gaming habits, such as taking regular screen breaks and ceasing all gaming activity at least an hour before bed.