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Television and Vision
Eye care experts generally agree: Watching television will not harm your eyes or vision if the TV room is lit properly and if you follow a few viewing tips. In fact, there is usually less strain involved in TV viewing than in doing close work such as sewing or reading. But TV watching for long stretches of time can leave your eyes fatigued.
What are the best conditions for TV viewing?
A normally lit room, suitable for general activities, is best. Excessively bright lighting tends to reduce contrast on the screen and “wash out” the picture. No lights should be placed where glare or reflections will be seen in or near the television screen. Strongly colored lighting should not be used and surroundings should be neutral in color.
Is it all right to watch television in a dark room? This situation is not ideal. When the room is totally dark, the contrast between the television screen and the surrounding area is too great for comfortable and efficient vision. When the room is softly illuminated, undesirable high contrast is kept to a minimum.
Is it better to adjust the television set to room lighting or room lighting to the set? Adapt the set’s brightness and contrast to room lighting — not room lighting to the set — after the room lights have been turned on.
Is it all right to wear sunglasses while watching television? Generally, no. Sunglasses may shut out too much light for good vision. If worn when not needed, they tend to make it difficult for the viewer to adapt promptly to normal light levels. If you are bothered by brightness, consult with an eye care practitioner about the possible need for lenses more appropriate to TV viewing.
Possible difficulties with TV viewing
Children sometimes sit close to the set. Does this hurt their eyes? While close-up viewing is certainly not recommended, it is generally not harmful. It is best to watch television from a distance of at least five times the width of the picture. Picture details will appear sharper and better defined and the television lines and defects will be less apparent. If your child persists in watching television from a short distance, have his or her vision checked. Nearsighted (myopic) children like to sit close to the screen.
What does it mean if the eyes water or if there is other visual discomfort while watching television? It could indicate a problem that needs professional attention. Some viewers, especially those over 50 years old, may find relief with special glasses for television viewing. Discomfort could also indicate that the drainage passages which drain tears from the eyes into the nose are partially blocked and require examination.
What about color television for viewers with color vision deficiencies? Color deficiency (i.e. color blindness) is generally not a barrier to enjoying color television. However, viewers with color deficiencies may disagree with others as to the “proper” color adjustment. A color TV picture properly adjusted for most people may appear too green to a protanomalous (weak red) observer, or too red to a deuteranomalous (weak green) viewer. When the set is adjusted to “correct” its color, the resulting picture is usually unsatisfactorily tinted for other viewers. Viewers who are severely color deficient, the so-called “red blind” or “green blind,” will see little or no difference in widely different color mixtures, and will not be bothered by most color adjustments.
TV viewing tips:
- Make sure your television set is properly installed and the antenna properly adjusted.
- Place the set to avoid glare and reflections from lamps, windows and other bright sources.
- Adjust brightness and contrast controls to individual and/or viewer’s taste and comfort.
- Have the set at approximately eye level. Avoid having to look up or down at the picture.
- Avoid staring at the screen for lengthy periods. Briefly look away from the picture, around the room or out the window.
- Wear lenses prescribed for vision correction, if advised to do so by your eye care practitioner.
- View from a distance at least five times the width of the television screen.
|TV glasses make it possible to enjoy your favorite TV programs – whether it is a baseball game, a movie, or your favorite sitcom.|
A favorite past time for those with macular degeneration is watching TV. My father-in-law loves watching the Milwaukee Brewers baseball games and we know to never make a call when a game is on.
His dry macular degeneration has turned to wet and his central vision loss has made TV watching less enjoyable. Normally, he would pull up his chair real close to the TV, but now thanks to these television glasses he can see faces of players, baseball scores and even the tiny numbers that reflect the time and temperature on the bottom of his screen.
Television Watching Tips
1. Get a larger TV screen with high definition
Today’s TV’s with high definition technology and the affordability of larger screens makes television viewing a whole different experience than just a few years ago. The brilliant colors and sharp details are just what those with macular degeneration need.
2. Sit closer to the TV
First try sitting closer to the TV screen. If you have a scotoma and you are sitting far from the TV, the grey or black spot may take up a large part of your TV viewing. Sitting closer will reduce the viewing size of your scotoma allowing you to see more of the TV.
3. Try a pair of distance magnifying TV glasses
Here is my father-in-law wearing a pair of television glasses. The first time he put them on, he was speaking adjectives and phrases like,8Save
“It’s so clear.”
“I don’t have to sit so close to the TV.”
“The TV is no longer blurry.”
“I can see the baseball score.”
These TV glasses by Eschenbach are best used for TV viewing up to 10 ft away. It provides a magnification of 2.1x.8Save
Because everyone’s vision is different in each eye, the glasses allow each eye lens to be individually adjusted with the rotary knobs located on each side of the binoculars to get the best clarity and focus.
These distance magnifiers maximize the size of the TV and are intended for watching events, movies, or sports.
They are not for reading or for close up work.8Save
These lightweight macular degeneration glasses make your TV screen appear twice as large and because the images appear larger there is no need to sit right up close to the television anymore.
Just put them on as you would a regular pair of glasses. You are able to adjust the focus wheel on each temple until the image is right for you. Not everyone with macular degeneration benefits from these TV glasses – it all depends on the severity of vision loss and the size or number of scotomas.
Use them at movie theaters or sporting events as well. Read reviews from others with macular degeneration and go to Amazon where they ship internationally:2.1X Eschenbach Max TV Glasses Distance Viewing
If they do not work for you the glasses are returnable.
Voice Activated TV Remote and Fire Stick
You can say things like, “Alexa, find movies with Helen Mirrin” or “Alexa, play Downton Abbey.” Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV episodes. To watch movies and TV shows in 4K Ultra HD, you need a compatible Ultra HD TV.Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote, streaming media player
Large Button TV Remote
Have you ever been in the middle of an exciting TV show or movie, and needed to turn up the volume, only to change channels instead? Of course if anyone else is in the room watching with you everyone starts to freak out, while you try to explain that it was an accident.
With large buttons and large numbers this style TV remote is easy to see and use.
Pay attention to the different descriptions as some of these remotes work only with TV and not with satellite or not with a cable box.
The most popular remote with the highest ratings at Amazon is the Flipper Remote. It has different color buttons making it easier to distinguish the volume controls from the channel controls.