TV Answer Man Can
Watching TV In the Dark Hurt Your Eyesight?
By Swanni Follow @SwanniOnTV
Washington, D.C. (June 11, 2013)
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Q. I often watch TV
in a dark room because I like the way the picture looks on my
Plasma TV. But I sometimes wonder if it's bad for my eyes. I
remember my parents yelling at me when I was a kid not to watch
TV with the lights off because they said it would ruin my
eyesight. So, what's the deal? -- Fran, Atlanta, Georgia.
Fran, you should always listen to your parents -- except about
There's no evidence that watching television in a dark room will
affect your eyesight, even by a small amount. It's a myth that's
been perpetuated over the years by, okay, let's say it,
concerned parents. They see their kids sitting in a dark room,
staring intently at a well-lit TV screen and immediately assume
that the contrast of dark and light will somehow diminish their
vision. But it's not true.
That said, however, watching TV in a dark room can cause
eyestrain and headaches, more so than if you watch with the
lights on. (Click
to read an article on a study that proved this.) The reason is because the light of the TV is the only
light in the room and it frequently changes depending upon
what's happening on screen. That forces the pupils of your eyes
to constantly adjust and that leads to those headaches and eye
For example, if you're watching a horror film, the screen may be
semi-dark for several minutes during a particularly creepy
scene, but then it suddenly becomes super-bright when the
heroine runs outdoors to escape the villain. You'll feel your
eyes widen and then squint because the contrast in lighting is
so abrupt. It's not natural and it's why you may feel a little
uneasy if you stare at an ever-changing screen for a long time.
There are some things you can do to alleviate this.
One, you can reduce the brightness of the screen. Two, you can
keep a lamp on at the lowest level to provide some light in the
room. Three, you can sit a little further from the screen than
you would normally do in a well-lit room.
Or, you can just watch TV the way you currently do -- in the
dark. If it doesn't bother you, have it. It won't hurt your
eyesight. And, you have a Plasma set and there's no doubt that a
Plasma TV picture is better in the dark than a LCD set.
Swanni Sez has 10,000+
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