Can Optical Illusions Damage Your Eyes?

optical illusion

Optical illusions are fun images designed to trick your eyes and confuse the perception of what you are viewing. They are usually created with lines or shapes in varying thicknesses in black and white or multiple colors. The images often are designed to make two-dimensional designs appear three-dimensional. And the longer you stare at an illusion, the image seems to move or change shape.

If you have wondered whether optical illusions are harmful to your eyes, there is no need to worry. According to the Mayo Clinic, viewing optical illusions will not hurt your vision, unless you spend considerable time staring at an image on the computer screen and develop eye strain.

To avoid straining your eyes while viewing computerized optical illusions, following these guidelines:

  • Follow the 20/20/20 rule – For every 20 minutes you view optical illusions, look away at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds
  • Blink frequently – While staring at optical illusions, frequently blink your eyes to refresh the moisture to avoid developing dry and irritable eyes; use a humidifier to increase moisture in the air and artificial tears when eyes feel dry
  • Massage your eyes – If your eyes feel tired, relieve muscle tension by gently rubbing around your eyes for 10 to 15 seconds ; also try closing your eyes and splashing cool water on your face
  • Relax your neck and shoulder muscles – Many people hunch or tighten up their shoulders and neck muscles when they sit at a computer; gently rotate and flex the muscles to avoid developing stiffness and tension headaches
  • Monitor the distance – Protect your eyes by setting the computer monitor at least 20 inches from your chair; remove dust from the screen to reduce glare

Although viewing optical illusions is safe, if you experience any vision problems, contact your eye doctor to schedule an eye exam to evaluate your eye health and any vision correction needs.

If you enjoy viewing optical illusions, which designs are your favorites? – Karen Gustin, Ameritas Group