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Simple Tips for Better TV Viewing

Dr Tapas Paul

The world will remain beautiful, vibrant and bright only if we take proper care of our precious eyes. Eyes are one of those parts of our body, which are stressed and strained the maximum.
Every day, we subject our eyes to all kinds of stress - extreme sunlight, bright lights, glare from the computer screen and television, and hours of reading. Eyesight is usually taken for granted by all of us. We only decide to give the eyes rest when we sleep. But eye care is essential throughout our lives not because we don’t want to wear spectacles but because it helps us maintain a clear vision at old age as well. People suffer from various eye problems due to negligence, unhealthy diet and genes.
Since many of us find it difficult to mitigate the number of hours we spend in front of the television, and because we don’t rest our eyes at regular intervals, the accommodative strength of our eyes is altered.

Modern TV sets are equipped with accessories that reduce the emission of radiation. Eye care experts agree that watching television will not harm your eyes or vision, provided the room is lit properly with a diffused light and if you follow simple viewing tips like taking a break now and then. Prolonged periods of focusing on an object leads to fatigue of the eyes and dryness of the surface. Viewing the TV from a safe and comfortable distance of about 8 to 10 feet, using spectacles if one has them etc. work as good tips.

What is the optimum room lighting for TV viewing?
A normally lit room, suitable for general activities, is best suited. Excessively bright lighting tends to reduce contrast on the screen and “washes out” the picture. No lights should be placed where glare or reflections will be seen in or near the television screen. Strong coloured lighting should not be used and surroundings should be neutral in colour.

Additionally:
  1. Make sure that the TV screen is at eye level.
  2. Relax while watching TV: Make sure you are seated in a comfortable chair, with special attention to your neck, shoulder and back. Poor posture invariably affects TV viewing.
  3. Screen size can make a difference: Did you know that a smaller screen such as 13 - 14” inch gives a sharper image than a big screen?
What is the optimal distance to watch a TV set?
About 8-10 feet is a comfortable distance. Larger screens demand more distance.
 

Simple Steps to Take Care of Your Eyes

Taking care of your eyes is not a very complicated job. Here are some basic things you can adhere to as a part of your vision care practice.
  1. Wash your eyes often: Splash cold water in your eyes whenever you are taking breaks from work. This will help your eyes relax and provide comfort from strain. There are drops available too which help to remove grit, but use them only after consultation with an ophthalmologist.
  2. Eat healthy: Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables like papaya, oranges, carrots and spinach that contain vitamin A, beta carotene and essential minerals which are good for vision. A cup of broccoli everyday can keep a lot of your eye problems at bay as it contains a lot of antioxidants and vitamins.
  3. Avoid excessive stress: Try to take short breaks at regular intervals when you are working in front of the computer all through the day. Similarly, avoid continuous reading or watching television for long hours.
  4. Blink your eyes often: It is good to blink your eyes as often as possible in order to keep them lubricated. Staring at the computer or television screen, or keeping your eyelids wide open for a long time causes evaporation of tears, leading to dry eye syndrome which in turn leads to irritation, itching and tiredness of the eyes.
  5. Protect your eyes from over-exposure to the UV rays: Always wear sun-glasses with polarized lenses while you are going out in the sun. Over-exposure to ultra-violet rays may affect your eye-sight.
  6. Give adequate rest to your eyes: Good sleep and adequate rest is directly related to basic vision care. A regular sound sleep of 7 to 8 hours provides the right amount of rest and relaxation required for healthy and stress free eyes.

Dr Tapas Paul is a Consultant - Department of Ophthalmology, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata


  
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