According to Statista, the average 18-49 year old Canadian will spend 19.5 hours per week watching TV. Exposing our bodies, and specifically our eyes, to that much television can cause a multitude of problems, ranging from minor annoyances to more serious health conditions. Read on to learn how watching TV for long periods of time affects your eyes and body, and what you can do to minimize these risks!
Eye Problems Associated with Watching Too Much TV
The most common eye issues people experience are:
- Eye muscle fatigue, which causes headaches and reduces our eye’s ability to focus when looking away from the TV.
- Eye dryness, redness and irritation due to the fact that we blink only about half as much when watching TV.
Many people will experience these symptoms but will fail to realize that that they are the result of eye strain. They might just think they are tired, or maybe coming down with a cold.
Other Health Problems
It’s not just our eyes that are affected after too much time in front of the TV. It can affect your entire body. Some other common problems include:
- Trouble sleeping. Watching TV in the evening not only makes it more difficult for your mind to unwind, but it also can suppress melatonin production which helps regular our sleep cycle.
- Slowed metabolism
- Muscle cramps
- Poor blood circulation
How to Minimize Eye Strain
TV is great, but we need to make sure we are taking care of our health; follow these steps to minimize the strain on your eyes while watching TV.
- Give your eyes a break! Now that Netflix has made commercials a thing of the past, try to give your eyes a break after each episode. Stand up, take a walk, or even just focus your eyes elsewhere.
- Keep the lights on. This will keep your eyes from having to adjust from the bright screen to the dark surroundings.
- Keep your distance. The ideal distance between you and your TV is between 8-10 feet. Height is also important too; it’s important that your TV is positioned at eye level or just below it so you aren’t starting up at it.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of eye strain, it’s important to discuss these with your optometrist to rule out other, potentially more serious, eye conditions. Book your next appointment at The Vision Gallery online today!