A new partnership with the American Optometric Association (AOA), the leading authority on quality eye care and the gaming industry is underway to address the effects of prolonged screen time and its impact on eye health. AOA launched the first-of-its kind Screen Time Alliance with Nerd Street Gamers, a national network of e-sports facilities, events, and content, and Playcrafting, a game development company, to encourage Americans to get their eyes checked offline by a doctor of optometry so they can do more of what they love online.
There are more than 227 million Americans who play video games1 and with gaming and screen time on the rise, so is the risk for long-term implications for people’s eye health. AOA’s 2022 Gamer Survey results revealed, the average gamer spends more than 8 hours a day on screens and has experienced various eye-related symptoms from gaming, including eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, and blurred vision.
Further, many gamers are aware of the eye health implications for long-term screen time usage, but less than half (46%) visit a health care professional for a comprehensive eye exam every year. In-person eye exams by doctors of optometry are critical to identify vision and health issues as well as early signs of systemic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, and cancers.
As part of this year’s Eye Deserve More campaign, AOA is collaborating with optometrist Dr. Jason Compton, AOA member and gamer himself to encourage people to practice healthier screen time habits and be mindful of symptoms such as dry eyes and headaches.
“It’s my job as an optometrist to get to know my patients’ habits and behaviors to create tailored recommendations to keep their eyes and overall body healthy, especially since comprehensive eye health is not a one-size-fits-all approach,” says Dr. Compton. “Whether you’re a pro gamer, Twitch streamer, casual scroller, or someone who spends all day working at the computer – it’s critical to see a doctor of optometry in person every year and adapt healthy gaming and screen time habits, like taking regular screen breaks and stopping any gaming activity at least one hour before bedtime.”
To find Eye Health Guidance for Screen Time and to book an appointment with a local AOA doctor of optometry, visit AOA.org/EyeDeserveMore.
About The American Optometric Association (AOA)
The American Optometric Association (AOA) is the leading authority on and advocate for quality eye health care, representing more than 44,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and optometric professionals. As the sole primary eye care provider in many communities across America, doctors of optometry are often a patient's first entry point into the health care system, and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases, and injuries that affect the eye and visual system. Through a nationwide public health initiative, AOA's Eye Deserve More campaign is fostering awareness of the importance of eye health and vision care and the overall health benefits of in-person, comprehensive eye examinations with AOA doctors of optometry for all Americans.
1. Entertainment Software Association. February 2022. “2021 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry.” https://www.theesa.com/resource/2021-essential-facts-about-the-video-game-industry/