Are Video Games Hurting My Child's Eyes?

Excerpt from Part I

Handheld Video Games

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Nothing seems to absorb my children’s attention more than video gaming. I can shout. I can cry. I can jump up and down and flail my arms. They don’t move! They don’t look up! They don’t hear a word! And they can be in this hypnotic state for hours!! What does this have to do with vision?


Long periods of intense near work have been associated with nearsightedness.  Whether the near work causes the nearsightedness has yet to be proven, but there is a connection. It makes sense the demands placed on our children’s eyesight may cause their prescription to change. It’s not the video game; it’s the uninterrupted near viewing for long periods at a time.

The decision to allow your child to play video games is a very personal one. Personally, I recommend no longer than 30 minutes of uninterrupted time on any device, followed by a 30 minute break in which they get involved in distance activities, preferably outdoors.

"Our sons, Nicholas and Gregory, both started wearing glasses at seven years old.  They often played handheld video games.  As their nearsightedness progressed, we limited their video game use."

Teresa Despotidis