Is it harmful to my eyes to sit close to the TV?

Lee R. Duffner, MD
Lee R. Duffner, MD on behalf of American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart
Contrary to popular myth, sitting too close to a TV will not damage your eyes, but it may cause eyestrain. Children can focus at close distance without eyestrain better than adults. Therefore, children often develop the habit of holding reading materials close to their eyes or sitting right in front of the TV. There is no evidence that this damages the eyes either in children or adults. With children, this habit usually diminishes as they grow older.
Diana K. Blythe, MD
Diana K. Blythe, MD on behalf of Pediatric Associates
Sitting too close to the TV is not harmful to the eyes, but watching too much TV can be harmful!
Every extra hour a week children spend watching TV or playing video games increases their chance of myopia (nearsightedness). On the other hand, playing outside seems to help and is another reason to pick outside play over video games or TV.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.