The rise of eSports as a professional pursuit has exploded, with a corresponding rise in the number of young people spending hours staring at video monitors either training or competing. In short order, discussions began about the impact all this high-intensity screen time has on the Gamers.
eSports Gamers Struggle With Eye Strain
Not surprisingly, one of the Gamers’ top physical complaint is eye strain. Serious players can go 10-12 hours without a break, especially in competitions. And the eye motions involved in gaming are in a constrained range of motion, with rapid short movements. This can strain the eye muscles. Blink frequency also reduces under these conditions of extended visual concentration, resulting in ocular surface disturbances.
Eye strain leads to eye pain, which can distract the player and reduce performance. So, minimizing eye strain with simple habits and treatments can improve performance.
“There’s so much mental strain when you’re putting anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day in front of a computer on a game,” said Tyler Vore, the captain of Arizona State University’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, in discussing the toll relentless gaming can take on a person . “It’s not just, you know, playing a game for fun. You’re really working and putting in the time, and that can have a big effect on your emotions and how you’re feeling. I think it’s really important that we at least talk about it.”
“Vision performance is critical for professional eSports athletes but also for the more than 214 million video game players (according to the Entertainment Software Association), in the U.S,” notes Earnie Franklin, COO of VSP Global Innovation in a recent Vision Monday article announcing a partnership with the Sacramento Kings and its eSports Gaming team.
Daily Eye Treatments Keep Gamers at the Top of their Game
In our view, when it comes to keeping their eyes sharp and pain-free online Gamers can keep themselves in strong competitive shape by making some simple steps a daily habit:
- Take breaks. While this may not be possible mid-match, taking regular breaks when training and between matches can reduce eye strain. These breaks should involve starting at distant objects or views, and blinking more often. Also, hours of computer time leads to the player blinking less. This leads to drier eyes, which can irritate and even damage the ocular surface.
- Players should train themselves to blink habitually even during a match or when training. The well-known 20-20-20 rule applies:
- Take a break every 20 minutes or so
- Stare at least 20 feet away
- Stare into that distance for at least 20 seconds
And, we could add a fourth “20”: Blink 20 or more times to restore your eye’s protective tear film.
After training, we recommend daily sessions with a warm eye compress that forces the user to keep their eyes closed for at least 15 minutes while the heat restores the balance between the mucus, oil and water that make up the tears. Dry Eyes are an occupational hazard for Gamers, young and old, and daily “decompression sessions” with a warm eye compress can improve eye health and mood!
Why use an EyeGiene® Insta-Warmth™ eye mask system for your decompression session?
The inserts in our eye mask are engineered to automatically warm to exactly the temperature (40 degrees C or 104 degrees F) that loosens the oil in your eyelid glands and helps your eyes retain more moisture. (The oil covers the water in your tears and reduces rapid tear evaporation.) The EyeGiene system is designed for convenience, ease of use, and portability, and is a perfect fit for the fast paced life style of eGamers.
Professional video Gamers compete in a fast-paced, intense atmosphere. Any distraction that slows your reaction time chips away at your reaction time and gives their competitor an edge.
Strained eyes can develop symptoms like burning, dryness, stinging and blurriness that will reduce gamer performance.
Gamers with Healthy Eyes Play Better
- Regain your competitive gamer’s edge by following a strict eye health regime.
- Take regular breaks, emphasizing the 20-20-20 rule
- Give your eyes daily recovery session using warm eye compresses, especially right after intense training or competitions.
“I really just want to make sure that these guys all know that, yes, this is important, “ said Ashley Powell, a professional Overwatch League player for the esports team Dallas Fuel. “You can win a lot of money. You can do all these crazy things with esports. But, at the same time, you can’t neglect yourself and your own physical and mental health.”
When it comes to healthy eyes, a daily routine of breaks and decompression will make a world of difference in your energy level, and ability to focus.