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You may remember hearing as a child that if you sit too close to the television you are going to ruin your eyes. This is a common myth that has been told in households across America since the 1960s when General Electric released a television that emitted too much radiation. The television was quickly recalled, but the mentality that sitting too close to a TV leads to harm has stuck around for the past half century.

Being too close to a television these days isn’t shown to lead to harm. In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology claims that children can focus closer up on objects without experiencing eyestrain like adults, so they are more likely to sit closer to the television because it simply doesn’t hurt them.

However, if your child is sitting close to the TV and complains that they can’t see if they’re too far away, then you need to take them to an optometrist to have their eyes examined. This may be a sign of nearsightedness.

WATCHING TOO MUCH TELEVISION CAN LEAD TO EYE STRAIN

Actually, staring at anything for long periods of time causes eyestrain. Eyestrain is a minor problem that stems from intense use of the eyes, usually from activities like looking at screens or driving. Eyestrain is typically never serious and the best treatment is to give your eyes a break and get some rest.

Common symptoms of eyestrain include the following:

  • Tired eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Dry, sensitive eyes
  • Over-watery eyes
  • Headaches
  • Trouble focusing

If you experience any of those symptoms, stop your activity and rest your eyes.

Those who work with a computer all day know you can’t always go take a nap when your eyes get tired. If you work in front of a computer screen, it’s good to learn some practices to reduce eye strain:

  • Get up and walk around every hour or so
  • Sit with your back straight, your arms well in front of you, and the screen below your neck so you don’t have to tilt up.
  • Every 20 minutes look off at a distant object for 20 seconds
  • Try computer glasses to reduce glare and light

If symptoms of eyestrain persist for long periods of time, they may indicate a more serious problem, and you should go see a doctor.

Are you worried that your eye condition is more serious than eyestrain? Please contact Silverstein Eye Care Centers. Call us today to make an appointment for an eye exam. We can serve you at our convenient location in Independence/Kansas City at (816) 358-3600.

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