Netflix marathon? How bingeing could affect your vision

Jul 14, 2022 in Eye Care

Netflix marathon? How bingeing could affect your vision

Remember as a kid when your mum told you not to sit too close to the telly, or you’d get square eyes? Well, she wasn’t entirely right – but she did have a point.

Too much screen time can indeed affect your eyes. Here’s how too much exposure can affect your vision and what you can do to help…

Can watching TV do permanent damage to my eyes?

While watching too much telly or sitting very close to the screen might tire your eyes or give you a headache, the good news is that it won’t do any permanent damage.

Couple watching tv

However, watching in the dark could make the symptoms worse so consider turning on some ambient lighting for your next movie marathon.

Another good tip to improve comfort is to use the 20-20-20 rule, where every 20 minutes, you take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away (6 metres). This will give your eyes a rest, and you’ll be back to binging your favourite series in no time.

But what about computers and other devices?

We’re officially in the digital age, and hardly a minute goes by without looking at some sort of screen – whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC. Unfortunately, this means that the digital age has also heralded an age of digital eye strain.

Looking at screens for long periods causes us to blink less, drying out our eyes and means we do not change focus as often as we should – tiring out the muscles in our eyes. These factors can cause symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Vertigo or dizziness

How to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome

There are a few ways to prevent the symptoms of digital eye strain or ‘computer vision syndrome’. Luckily, they’re all pretty easy to implement:

The 20-20-20 rule - As we mentioned above, use the 20-20-20 rule to give your eyes a rest when spending long periods staring at devices.

Adjust your seat - Make sure you’re sitting at a comfortable distance from your screen to avoid squinting or straining to see clearly.

Blink more & stay hydrated! - Drink lots of water, and remember to blink extra to keep your eyes nice and moist, helping avoid dry eyes and headaches. Some eye drops can help too!

Worried about digital eye strain? Book an eye test

If you’re concerned about eye problems due to digital eye strain or have other concerns about your vision, our friendly optometrists are always here to help. We can give advice on combatting DES symptoms, prescribe eye drops, check your prescription and anything else you need.

Book online, over the phone on 0800 40 20 20, or pop into your local branch at a time that suits you.