If you’ve been a gamer all of your life, chances are it’s taken its toll on your eyes as you’ve gotten older. Eyestrain is one thing, but if you have a high sensitivity to light it can make your susceptible to migraines, vision problems and more. That doesn’t mean that gaming is now out of the question; it just means you have to take extra precautions whenever you choose to play games. Here are a few tips to help you out if you’re light sensitive, as well as advice on choosing a great gaming monitor.
Balance Out the Lighting
First things first: turn down the brightness on your gaming monitor. If the game you’re playing has a brightness setting, turn that down as well. Keep adjusting the brightness until you get it somewhere comfortable. Also make sure the lighting in your room is on point.
Bring up an image with a lot of white on it on your computer and see if it’s too bright or dark. Adjust the lighting around you until that white is comfortable. The key is to create even lighting between your gaming monitor and your room to keep the light even. You’ll be able to tell when you’ve hit that happy medium.
Get Anti-Glare Glasses
Now that you’ve got the light level under control on your gaming monitor, you now need to deal with the glare. Glare happens when light bounces off a surface and into your eyes, so getting something to reduce or eliminate that glare is essential.
If you need prescription glasses, ask your eye doctor about an anti-glare coating for your lenses. They’re pricey, but they can save you from a migraine if you’re surprised by a sudden flash or glare. If you don’t need prescription specs, you can get a pair of nonprescription “computer glasses” that cut down on glare and keep harsh blue light from getting in your eyes.
Change or Chuck Your Gaming Monitor
It may sound like blasphemy in the age of photorealistic 3D graphics, but reduce your gaming monitor’s resolution wherever possible. While some say that 800×600 is ideal, it’s better to just set it to whatever is most comfortable for you. Reducing the resolution keeps you from having to squint to read or see things, reducing eyestrain.
It’s also worth noting that if you still play games on an old school CRT gaming monitor, it could be ruining your eyes. CRTs emit low levels of radiation, which can cause vision problems.
Take Frequent Breaks
Some ages-old advice that often gets ignored is something called the 20-20-20 Rule. Look away from the gaming monitor for 20 seconds every 20 minutes you’ve been playing. For best results, look at something 20 feet away from you, to give your eyes a break. Better yet, get up and move around a bit, too. Go make a cup of coffee, tea or whatever you prefer. You’ll probably feel a little better when you come back as well.