Football, Television and Your Eyewear

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Football, Television and Your Eyewear

Are you ready for some football? It’s time to invite some friends over, gather some snacks and adult beverages, turn on the TV and get as close to the action as you can.

If you still hear your mom’s words echoing in your head to “Get away from that TV or you’ll ruin your eyes,” relax. You won’t ruin your eyes, unless you are sitting next to one of those old GE color televisions with no shield around the picture tubes. These TVs may have emitted harmful x-rays due to a manufacturing error that was later corrected.

The odds are that you are watching TV from a large screen with LED/OLED or LCD displays, or in HD or Ultra HD, and that old GE television from the 1960s is long gone. So are the days of being reminded not to sit too close to the TV.

Sunglasses at night

Of course, watching the game from home can still be interesting. You may have that one friend who wears his sunglasses indoors at night at your house. He isn’t just trying to look cool. He wears his sunglasses to filter the glare. If you are using too much overhead lighting rather than ambient lighting, you are creating a distraction for watching the game. Sunglasses are a way to shield the eyes from the bright light.

Create a wash of bright light in your football-viewing room, and you may miss the moves by your favorite playmaker. Likewise, turning off all the lights so that only the screen emanates light is also a bad idea; the light is always changing, which forces your eyes to adjust more frequently.

Soft lighting

Instead try creating ambient light that diffuses upward from the back of the TV screen; this diffusion, or biased lighting, will help your eyes adjust to a constant level of brightness rather than repeatedly open and close the pupils in response to varied intensities of your light sources.

Prescription check

Bright lighting is not the only thing that can create eyestrain during the big game. If you wear optical lenses, the eyestrain you experience may be telling you that it’s time to check your prescription eyeglasses. It is possible that you need an altogether different prescription for watching TV. There are some optical eyewear lenses available that also reduce glare.

You can alleviate eyestrain by remembering to blink so you keep your eyes moist. You can also volunteer to get more refreshments – the few-minute long break from watching TV may give your eyes the rest they need.

Get back in the game, and get as close to the TV as you’d like – or as close as the other fans in the room will let you.

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