How to Reduce Eye Strain Playing Video Games
I have extremely sensitive eyes, I always have really. I’ve always been a gamer, so eye strain has essentially been something I’ve just dealt with since I was a kid.
One day I was watching some MLG videos, and I noticed a lot of gamers wearing these odd yellow lens glasses, so I looked it up and found that they are a product sold by Gunnar Eyewear specifically for gamers to reduce eye strain.
I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty skeptical at first, because well.. I am generally a skeptical person with these kind of products. I thought these must just be a gimmick and can’t possibly help, right? So, I forgot about it for a while.
Recently though, I’ve been playing a lot of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and on comes the ridiculous eye strain again. First person shooters are typically what give me the most eye strain, because I focus so intently on the action. After a long night of gaming, my eyes were killing me, even the following day.
Long story short, I broke down and bought myself a pair of Gunnar glasses, even though I was still fairly skeptical about their effectiveness. Here is the model I got as well, the Gunnar MLG Phantom Snow/Onyx Frame.
A few days later my glasses came in the mail, which I had honestly forgotten about. I opened them up right away and tried them out on some rounds of Black Ops 2, and I noticed fairly quickly that I wasn’t getting nearly as much eye strain as I used to. After several hours of constant playing, the only eye strain I really had was just simply my eyes being dry from not blinking as much as I needed to.
I started looking into what makes these glasses work, and it looks like they do a lot of filtering. There are certain light waves from your TV that are a lot more intense than others. Most of the time you wouldn’t really notice the effects of these light waves because you’re blinking normally, but with first person shooters your eyes stay open a lot more than they should, so you are exposed to these light waves more than usual.
They also seem to make the picture a little more crisp so that your eyes don’t have to focus and adjust so much to the image.
They block some of the normal air flow in your house from getting to your eyes as well, which obviously any glasses will do, however I think that the other features I mentioned previously play a bigger part in preventing eye strain than just blocking air flow alone.
So needless to say, Gunnar has made a believer out of me. I’m not paid at all to write this either, this is my honest experience with the product. I do make a few cents if you purchase a pair from Amazon, but that’s just to fund this website and keep the wealth of information here free!
There are also some other alternatives out there besides Gunnar, like ClearOptix which has an assortment of gamer glasses as well. I haven’t tried these personally, but I’m sure something is better than nothing when it comes to eye strain.
If you’re not interested in any gaming glasses, here are some other tricks I’ve learned over the years to help reduce eye strain with long stretches of gaming:
1. Take Breaks – It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in games and play for hours at a time without a break. Take a break to rest your eyes for a bit.
2. Take Advil/Ibuprofen – If you know you’re going to have a long stretch of gaming, or especially if you compete in tournaments and such, then take some Advil/Ibuprofen before hand. It thins your blood a little bit, which helps reduce eye strain.
3. Remove Fans – When I’m gaming, I can’t have any fans on in the room with me. The circulating air kills your eyes when you’re blinking less than usual.
4. Eye Drops – Blinking provides the moisture to your eyes that they need to work effectively, but you blink a lot less when you’re gaming. Keep some eye drops handy for a quick fix during long gaming runs.