Over the years, myopia (or nearsightedness) has grown in numbers. It impacts approximately 30 percent of Americans, causing visuals that are out of the way to appear blurry while close-up objects are clear.
What causes someone to become nearsighted? Myopia happens when your eye exceeds an average length or when your cornea bends more than it should. That can disrupt your eyes’ ability to focus light and make far-away objects lack definition.
Knowing that your eye shape can lead to myopia, you might be wondering if your lifestyle can contribute to this condition, too. Does watching TV cause myopia, for instance? Let’s discuss.
Does watching TV cause myopia?
No one is certain about what causes myopia. Some experts believe that it’s hereditary, while others feel you have a higher chance of getting it if you perform a lot of up-close tasks, such as viewing digital devices, without resting your eyes from time to time.
Does watching TV cause myopia? Overworking your near vision can make your myopia symptoms develop, but no evidence shows that TV time causes nearsightedness.
Nearsighted people can struggle to view TVs since they’re far away, though. That may cause you to move closer or squint to see. And if this persists for too long, digital eye strain (also called computer vision syndrome) is likely to follow.
Heavy computer users can also experience nearsightedness symptoms. You may not be nearsighted, but spending too much time on close-up tasks can cause eye strain, which can make you think you are.
We recommend taking frequent breaks away from your devices (every 20 minutes if you can), as focusing too much on screens can affect your distance vision in the future. You can also always schedule a comprehensive eye exam with one of our skilled Independent Doctors of Optometry.
What are the effects of watching TV at a close distance?
Viewing a TV up close can affect your eyes by causing symptoms of nearsightedness or computer vision syndrome. Computer vision syndrome happens when you overwork your eyes by looking at nearby digital screens for too long without proper breaks.
Here are the primary symptoms of this condition:
- Blurry vision
- Body aches
- Digital eye strain
- Dry eye syndrome
How are myopia and computer vision syndrome connected? Overexercising your near vision by watching screens can put you at a higher risk for myopia.
Since approximately 33 percent of people in the U.S. aren’t sure how to manage myopia, we believe in educating everyone on the effects of watching TV at a close distance and other tasks known to nearsighted people.
Prescription glasses and contact lenses are both helpful for nearsightedness and symptoms of too much screen time. You might not need to wear your corrective eyewear all the time, depending on your eye doctor’s recommendations.
Summary: Does screen time cause myopia?
Blurry vision at a distance is a top symptom of myopia. What causes myopia isn’t clear, though some signs point to excessive use of your near vision, such as via reading and working online.
Does watching TV cause myopia? While there’s no evidence that TV time makes someone nearsighted, it can cause symptoms of myopia, including eye strain. In fact, many signs of myopia are similar to what someone with computer vision syndrome experiences.
Keeping healthy screen and eye care habits are excellent ways to get your vision on the right track. Once per year, consider scheduling a comprehensive eye exam to ensure your eyes are in tip-top shape and to keep any symptoms of refractive errors at bay.
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