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Posted on 10-10-2017

The Effects of Binge Watching on Eye Health

Guy rubbing his eyes after binge watching his favorite show

As winter comes closer, many people are looking forward to curling up on the couch and binging on a long list of television shows. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu make it easy to spend long hours relaxing and staring at the TV screen, but these binge sessions can have some negative effects on your eye health. At Lone Star Vision we're finding an increasing number of patients who are suffering from eye problems, and they're all linked back to excess hours in front of the television.  Indulging in endless hours on the couch can be a relaxing way to spend the weekend, but your eyes are likely to pay for it afterward.

Eye Damage From Binging TV

The problems with binge-watching are twofold: the constant staring at the screen and the light that comes from that same screen. Both of them can cause eye damage from binging TV, but each in its own way. 

The constant staring can cause a form of the condition known as computer vision syndrome. This is a problem that office workers and others who work at computers full time have to face, and it's mostly caused by the physical act of staring at a screen. Some of the symptoms of computer vision syndrome are:

Dry, itchy eyes

Blurred or double vision

Watery eyes

Headaches

Sore neck or shoulders

While computer vision syndrome isn't serious or permanent, it will continue to bother you and worsen unless the original cause is removed.

A worse problem with staring at a screen all day is dealing with blue light. All light comes in a variety of colors in the spectrum, and artificial devices such as televisions and computers give off a light in the blue range. In nature, blue light is beneficial; it's the type of light that makes sunshine have a cheery feeling and the light that wakes us up in the morning. Unfortunately, an excess of blue light can have damaging effects on your eyesight. It's been linked to cataracts and macular degeneration can cause temporary or permanent eyesight problems and will affect your sleeping schedule, among other problems. The effect of blue light is cumulative, which means it adds up over time, so it just keeps getting worse unless you limit your exposure.

Binge Watching Eye Health Solutions

The best thing you can do to eliminate these eye health problems is to limit your exposure to television watching. Instead of binging on the latest season of your favorite show, spread the episodes out over a number of days. If you're already feeling symptoms from binging your shows, call our office for an appointment at 972-378-4104.

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