When coming to Auckland Eye for a laser vision assessment, many people ask the question whether they have caused their vision impairment from their high level of electronic device or television use.
Watching TV for hours or staring at a computer for extended periods of time will not permanently damage your eyes or cause myopia (i.e. when you see nearby object closely, but objects far away are blurry). However, it is worth taking note of a few interesting points on this subject.
It is recommended that you have a minimum of 10 hours per week exposure to natural sunlight and a good rule is to match any screen/book time with time outside. The latest research suggests it is the luminance of being outdoors that is critical rather than the being able to experience far distance vision. No indoor lighting can come close to matching the luminance of natural sunlight.
Another point to be aware of is that overuse of the eyes for any activity such as watching TV, reading books or playing video games could results in eyestrain.
Symptoms of eyestrain include headaches, sore or itchy eyes, watery or dry eyes, temporarily blurry eyes or light sensitivity.
Eyestrain is a short term condition that you can easily treat yourself with rest. Remember to take regular breaks from intense eye focus and blink often to keep your eyes moist. If your eyes remain dry you could try eye drops to help moisten them.
There are also a few steps you can take to prevent future eyestrain. Keep your computer screen about an arm's length away and when watching TV keep the room softly lit because too much contrast between the screen and the rest of the room can make your eyes work too hard.