Does television harm the eyes? Myths and facts in check

television harm

You get square eyes from a lot of television. Parents like to tell their children that as a deterrent. But what is it about this saying? Does it have a real core at least insofar as television is really harmful to the eyes? We get to the bottom of this and explain how well the eyes can actually tolerate computers and television.

Myth # 1: Is Too Much TV Bad For The Eyes?

One thing for reassurance: Even if you sit in front of the television day and night, you will never get square eyes. However, it is entirely possible that the eyes become dry and start to burn if you constantly look at the screen, This is due to the fact that you blink less often when watching TV and the tear fluid is, therefore, less distributed on the cornea.

There are too many options for people now Like Netflix, kissanime , HBO max, and other streaming services and websites that provide a lot of options to watch at any time you want. Tired eyes recover later in sleep – so at least that should already be the case.

So does television harm the eyes in general? This question can be answered with “no”. Normally, you don’t get bad eyes from television (the only exceptions are very young children, see myth 3): It just reveals existing eye problems because the eyes have to strain more and tire more quickly in front of the screen.

Myth # 2: Do you ruin your eyes by sitting too close to the TV?

The situation is similar with this parental warning, for which ophthalmologists have given the all-clear. Too close to the screen does not cause permanent eye damage. However, if you have to sit close to the screen to see the image clearly, you should have your eyes examined, as this indicates myopia. In this case, too, television does not damage the eyes, but only reveals existing visual impairments.

But even if they keep recovering, you shouldn’t strain your eyes unnecessarily. After all, watching TV should relax and not strain. In the case of old televisions with a low resolution, for example, it is recommended not to sit too close to the screen so as not to strain the eyes due to the poor picture quality.

For new, high-resolution displays, the following rule of thumb applies to the screen distance: Screen diagonal in centimetres x 2.1 gives the recommended minimum distance to the television, also in centimetres.

The lower edge of the device should be at eye level. And the lighting conditions in the room should also be adapted to the screen. Even a subtle, indirect light when watching TV takes the strain off the eyes.

Myth 3: Do children spoil their eyes with computers, cell phones, etc.?

Children’s eyes are still developing. The visual system builds up gradually and therefore needs the alternation between a near and far vision in order to train to see from different distances. If children mainly spend their time in front of the TV, PC, and smartphone screens, this variety is not given. 

The eyes cannot exercise far-sightedness adequately, and children are more likely to develop myopia. So if parents encourage their children to play outside instead of hanging from the video console, it is not unfounded.

Especially since daylight inhibits eye growth: in most cases, myopia is caused by an excessive length of the eyeball – and even an hour of playing outdoors reduces the length growth of the eye.

Variety and rest for the eyes are very important, especially for children. Nevertheless, the same applies here: It is not generally computers or television that are bad for the eyes, but rather the “monotony of gaze”. Staring at the same area or object can cause myopia in children and adolescents. 

And that applies to reading books as well as playing games on the smartphone. In addition, children who spend their time in front of the television or computer tend to go outside less often. Too little daylight also favours the development of myopia

Myth 4: does screen work ruin the eyes?

Every third person who works more than 3 hours a day on the PC complains of eye problems. How is that possible if the eyes of computers, televisions, and the like are supposedly not spoiled? The explanation: The usual complaints of office workers are mainly due to the “monotony of gaze”.

If the eye is constantly looking at something from the same distance, the ciliary muscle of the eyes becomes unilaterally stressed and can cramp. The result: He can no longer adjust himself so well to different distances – it is more difficult to see clearly in the distance.

Many also complain of tired and dry eyes on the screen. The reason for this is that the frequency of blinking decreases when working with a PC, just like watching television.

As a result, the eye is not supplied with sufficient tear fluid and in connection with dry room air, it comes to burning eyes or even conjunctival irritation. What helps? We’ll reveal that in the following section.

Protect your eyes on the PC monitor and other screens – that’s how it works

  • Variety: Take breaks from the screen every 20 minutes and let your gaze wander into the distance, or leave the room if you like. Daylight is also good for the eyes.
  • Position the work screen correctly so that it does not reflect light that is blind to the eyes.
  • Regular ventilation ensures that no dry air builds up in the room, which causes the tear fluid on the eye to evaporate more quickly.
  • If you tend to have dry eyes, you can use eye drops to provide additional tear fluid.
  • Wearers of glasses should consider special computer glasses if they have complaints.

In a nutshell: Does television harm the eyes?

Contrary to parental warnings, watching television is generally not harmful to the eyes, but it can reveal or even exacerbate existing visual defects.

However, children’s eyes are still developing and need constant alternation between near and far vision. That is not the case when you are constantly staring at the monitor.

People who work a lot on the PC often have eye problems because their eyes lack variety. Targeted measures help to protect the eyes.