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Watching TV
When You Have a Visual Problem
By Deborah Kogler

1). Forget what your mother told you and sit close to the TV.

It will not hurt your eyes! In many cases, the closer you sit to the TV, the blind spots (scotomas) disappear. When you move closer to the TV, you are actually making the picture bigger on the retina.

For example, if you have been sitting 8 feet away from the TV, and you move up to 4 feet from the TV you have now made the picture twice as big on your retina. If you move to 2 feet from the TV you have now made the picture 4 times larger.

2) Screen size can make a difference.

Did you know that a smaller screen such as 13 - 14" inch gives a sharper image than a big screen?

3) Be sure to view it at eye level

Make sure the TV screen is at your eye level. If you have a large central blind spot there are a few tricks that you can do to see the TV better.

Using your good eye, turn your chair on a 45 degree angle toward your better eye, so you are not facing the screen directly, then look up above the screen slightly. This make take some practice but placing your blind spot above what you want to see is easier than looking directly at something.

4) Glare in the Room

Light from lamps, windows, doors and computer screens often can be reflected onto the TV screen. Turning the lights off may make viewing better. Placing your TV away from the windows, lamps etc helps reduce the glare.

Use of filter eyewear can also help. Such glare filters as yellow, orange or light grey colored glasses can also help in reducing glare while watching TV.

5) Adjust the contrast on your TV Set

It may help to adjust the contrast button on your TV menu. By adding more contrast to the screen/picture viewing maybe easier.

6) Change the color of the TV

Try changing the picture to black & white will help make viewing easier. Certain low vision diseases cause color loss or distortion, making viewing a color screen more difficult and frustrating.

7) Learn to relax while watching TV

Make sure that you are seated in a comfortable chair. Pay particular attention to your neck, shoulder and back when watching TV. Poor posture will affect your TV viewing.

Deborah Kogler is a licensed optician and owner of Magnifiers & More. For more information or any questions, please feel free to call 440-946-3363.

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