Watching TV very closely can damage your eyes!!! Is the statement a myth or truth.

watching tvWatching TV very close can harm your eyes!!! We are hearing this since childhood days. But what is the truth lying behind. Lets find out. This statement was true in relation to some new fanged colour TV’s that General Electric had sold in 1960’s. Those TV sets emitted excessive radiations (>1lakh times more than safer limit). But GE quickly recalled and repaired those faulty TVs, but stigma prevails even today.




Can you really watch TV so close?

Today if you are watching an LCD/LED/Plasma flat screens as per American Academy of Ophthalmology, won’t cause any physical damage to your eyes. But, yes it may cause eye strain and fatigue particularly for those who are watching TV very close or from odd angles. In other way, sitting close to TV will not make you short sighted but if you have short sight, you may need to sit close to TV.

What about computer monitor?

Watching or looking into monitor for long time will not cause permanent damage to your eyes, but as said stress on eyes and eye fatigue can happen. Continous looking into a computer monito can cause a temporary condition called ‘Computer Vision Syndrome’ with symptoms of eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and pain around neck.

Reason behind eye stress and fatigue

Computer screen/TV screen images are created from thousands of tiny dots. When you are viewing the screen, its not like reading a printed matter. Printed matter will be having a high contrast image. But while watching TV/Computer, you need to continously focus and refocus to keep images sharp.

Glare/reflections from lighting as well as distance/viewing angle creates issue.

While watching these screens, our eyes will not be blinking as usual. This will inturn cause dryness of eyes.

Flickering images in old CRT screens also creates problem




What precautions you should take before watching TV?

1. In simple words, viewing distance for a TV should be the distance from where you will not have any difficulty to read the text on the screen.

2. Don’t watch TV while you are lying down.

3. While using a computer/laptop, screen should be 15 – 20 degrees below eye level from center of screen as well as screen should atleast 20 – 28 inches far from the eyes.

4. Don’t watch TV or work on a computer in a dim lit room as this will create unnecessary strain for your eyes.

5. Try to watch atleast an LCD TV /Computer screen when compared to old CRT monitors

6. Try to blink your eyes fequently while watching as this will moisten your eyes.

7. Use the ’20-20-20′ rule. Its nothing but gazing a distant object for atleast 20 seconds for every 20 minutes working/watching Computer/TV. Thsi relaxes your eye muscles.

8. If possible, keep your monitor/tv such that Windows are to the side of it rather than in front or back.

9. While reading e books, try to use e readers like kindle reader. These devices mimic the appearence of ordinary paper and will lessen the strain on your eyes.

10. Another recommendation for determining the viewing distance is to sit between 1.5 to 2.5 times the diagonal screen measurement away, with about a 30 degree viewing angle.

According to this calculation, for viewing a 32″ TV you need to sit at a distance of 1.2 to 2 meter.

A detailed list with different sized TV screens is given in this web page – Click Here 




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