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Watching TV and eyesight problems, is watching too much TV bad for kids' eyes

There is a popular misconception that watching TV is not good for our eyes. Many parents are afraid to let their children watch TV because of the fear that it might affect their eyesight. Others fear that TV emits radiation and is harmful for our health if we sit and watch too close to the TV. These are all Myths. Modern TVs are very safe and in no way affect our eyes.

We quote from the highly reputed Scientific American (SciAm) magazine below. First to give you an idea of how authoritative the Scientific American Magazine is we quote below what Wikipedia says about the Scientific American Magazine

....."Scientific American (informally abbreviated SciAm) is an American popular science magazine. Many famous scientists, including Albert Einstein, have contributed articles in the past 170 years. It is the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the United States (though it only became monthly in 1921)."

Here is what Scientific American (SciAm) says about watching TV and eye health

....."Luckily for many of us and our kids, sitting “too” close to the TV isn’t known to cause any human health issues. This myth prevails because back in the 1960s General Electric sold some new-fangled color TV sets that emitted excessive amounts of radiation—as much as 100,000 times more than federal health officials considered safe. GE quickly recalled and repaired the faulty TVs, but the stigma lingers to this day.
But even though electronic emissions aren’t an issue with TVs made any time after 1968 (including today’s LCD and plasma flat screens), what about causing harm to one’s vision? Dr. Lee Duffner of the American Academy of Ophthalmology isn’t concerned, maintaining that watching television screens—close-up or otherwise—“won’t cause any physical damage to your eyes.” He adds, however, that a lot of TV watching can surely cause eye strain and fatigue, particularly for those sitting very close and/or watching from odd angles. But there is an easy cure for eye strain and fatigue: turning off the TV and getting some rest. With a good night’s sleep, tired eyes should quickly return to normal."

Hope that this convinces you that TVs are entirely safe and there should be no fear of letting children watch TV to their heart's content.

Does TV have radiation that is harmful to health

Modern Flat Screen TVs do not emit any radiation and is absolutely safe. Older generation Tube TVs did have problems with emission of X-rays due to the use of high voltages and an electron gun beam which produced the moving TV pictures on the tube TV screen.

Some tube TVs made by GE in the 1960s had more than the permitted levels of X-ray radiation and it made headline news in those days. The news media talked about death rays and cancer from TV and this led to wide spread fear of TVs. This phobia or fear that TVs emit harmful radiation persists to this day, even though the old tube TVs has been discontinued.

Modern flat screen TVs do not produce any type of radiation and is safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA says that the modern flat screen TVs cannot produce X-rays and is so safe that it does not require their supervsion regarding any health issues. This is what the FDA says about the safety of modern flat screen TVs

"..... It is important to note that flat panel TVs incorporating Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) or Plasma displays are not capable of emitting X-radiation. As such these products are not subject to the FDA standard and do not pose a public health hazard".

The FDA is the world's premier institution that safeguards our health and is the final authority that decides whether any medicine is allowed to be sold to consumers in USA and almost the whole world.

So this statement from the US FDA should put to rest all this talk about "Radiation from TV dangerous and harmful". The simple fact is that there is no any harmful radiation from TV, TVs are very safe, as safe as being in a room lit with a light bulb and safer than being out in the sunlight.

Yes, that is right, the light from TV is safer than sunlight. Sunlight has dangerous UV radiation and we human beings are adapted to live with sunlight. If we can stand sunlight, then the light from TVs should be no problem at all.

Light from TV explained

Modern flat screen TVs are either LCD, LED, Plasma or OLED TVs.

LCD and LED TVs have exactly the same type of screen that produces the moving picture and this picture is projected on the TV screen by LED lamps. LED bulbs are in common use as light bulbs to light up our homes and these lights are absolutely harmless.

Plasma and OLED TVs have gas filled cells which light up when voltage is applied. This is similar to Neon lighting used in advertising billboards.

Is watching TV in the dark bad for your eyes

Another myth that is doing the rounds is that watching TV in the dark is bad for your eyes. The brightness of the TV screen is automatically adjusted to the light around the TV called 'Ambient Light'. This means that when there is no other light in the room, the TV dims the light output and the TV screen picture dims. As soon as you put on the lights in the room, the light output of the TV increases to compensate for the ambient lighting. This makes the TV screen much brighter.

So it is debatable whether there is less eye strain when watching a dimmer TV screen in the dark or a brighter TV screen when there is ambient lighting. Most people prefer to watch TV in the dark, because it avoids any reflections on the TV screen and also because you see a better quality picture with higher contrast ratio.

There is no question of any harm to our eyes watching TV in the dark or with lights on, it is only a question of eye strain when watching TV for long periods, especially when there may be vision problems and you need to have new or change the power of the glasses.

Sitting too close to TV harmful

Like we have said above, there are no harmful rays from modern TVs and how close you sit watching TV is a personal preference. When you notice kids sitting too close to the TV, it may be a sign of vision problems and you should get their eyes checked for glasses.

Buying TV online

These days buying a TV on line makes more sense, because of the many advantages. You get to buy the TV without much hassle online and the courier Company delivers to your door. If you want installation, it can usually be ordered online at the time of purchase, most of the time included in the price or there may be a very small extra charge. The price of TVs online from Amazon will be cheaper than what is available in your local stores. Service and Warranty are as good as or even better than if you bought it at a local store. The best part is that in case you are not satisfied with the TV, you can return it and get full refund and Amazon will arrange for the courier to pick up the returned item from you.

Links to buy TV online from Amazon

This is the Link to buy TV online from Amazon CANADA

This is the Link to buy TV online from Amazon INDIA

This is the Link to buy TV online from Amazon UK

This is the Link to buy TV online from Amazon USA


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