The increase in consumption we have in regards to our screens has been on a steady increase. From playing games on our phones during our commute, to catching up on a show on TV, our eyes are always occupied. This could have an undue effect on your eyesight, to which we may not be aware of.

Or does it? The fact of the matter is that our eyes will be affected in some manner when watching content on our screens. If you find yourself watching TV at a very close range, the effects may vary.

To answer the question “Does sitting too close to the TV ruin eyesight?”, here are the six things to know:


The question “Does sitting too close to the TV ruin eyesight?” has been a long debated topic. You’ve probably heard this ad nauseum from your parents, while you were younger. As a child, you were most likely glued to your TV screen, soaking up your favourite Saturday morning cartoons. If you sat too close, your mother or father would implore you to take a few seats back.

This notion originated from the idea that old television sets could emit certain radiation rays. These rays were thought to affect the eyes, if one was in close proximity to the actual TV. Sometimes, history could be the basis for some pretty outlandish stories!


All in all, the consensus amongst healthcare providers and ophthalmologists is that this is untrue: Sitting too close to a TV does not harm your eyesight. Age and health were considered in various tests, to determine if our eyes can be harmed by proximity.

Scientifically, there is virtually no evidence to suggest that this idea is true. It is a myth that is constantly being debunked, in order to give parents the reassurance they need. However, sitting too close to a TV can be the source of some other factors that need to be considered as well.


In numerous studies regarding the issue, it has been found that children can actually strengthen their focus. This means that, for longer periods of time, their eyesight will not be harmed by being so close to a TV. On the other hand, it will actually build their ability to concentrate on what they are viewing.

This goes for both watching TV, or playing games on their phones or tablets. As long as you encourage them to take periodic breaks, their eyes will be safeguarded. Just be sure to instruct them to sit at a reasonable distance, if they plan on staying seated for a long time!

If necessary, you may want to place the television on a white gloss TV stand with LED lights. This type of TV stand keeps the television at a safe distance, while providing you with lighting in dim room conditions.


Healthcare providers have noted that, although closeness to a TV isn’t a factor, nearsightedness may be. Children who sit down in front of their TV for long periods of time will not have their eyes affected. However, this may be an indicator for the condition, in which they need to be that close.

As a parent, if you feel that your child may have nearsightedness, ask them to sit at a farther distance. If their ability to see the TV is slightly impaired, they will need to see a visibility specialist. Nearsightedness is a prevalent condition amongst a wide demographic; it should be taken seriously!


Although it is not as serious as the condition before it, eye strain is inevitable. For those of us who indulge in our TV’s at a close range, you may notice your eyes becoming tired. This is a telltale sign of eye strain, and you must take appropriate action. If you don’t, your impaired visibility will force you to.

It is interesting to note that, when children are compared to adults, the latter are more susceptible to eye strain. That is due to the ability of children to focus for longer periods of time. Although this may be the case for younger humans, be sure to always take breaks from time to time.


In regards to both potential conditions, your vision may need to be enhanced to avoid being affected. Consider getting glasses for yourself or your children; this will discourage the need to sit so close. If you think that you require a pair of glasses, consult a visibility specialist. They will be able to give you the best course of action.

Contacts may also be recommended, if your specialist instructs you to consider it. These may be easier to use, as you won’t have your spectacles physically obstructing your face. Always be sure to discuss your eyesight with a specialist, no matter what age you are!

Myths can oftentimes be misconstrued for truth. This is the same for eyesight being affected by TV screens. Don’t worry; it is generally accepted that closeness to a screen does no harm. If you love binging on TV shows, be sure to take periodic breaks on a regular basis!