Dr. Dean

Why Are My Eyes Blurry After I've Been Watching TV?

Posting Date: 01/30/2001

Tim: My vision is blurred for about 30 minutes after I've spent a few hours lying down watching television. Putting on glasses doesn't help. Nothing helps.

Dr. Dean: That happens to me, too. Here are a couple of possibilities.

First, lying down staring at the television causes you to tilt your head up as much as you can which moves the cornea of your eye down to the lower part of the field. Your eyelid is pushing across it and this pressure actually changes the shape of your eye temporarily.

When you stand up to move on to something else, it takes awhile for the shape to return to normal.

You may also be approaching your 40s and 50s, getting toward middle age, when focusing becomes a problem. Those of you having problems with reading, have got to either grow longer arms or go buy yourself a pair of Dean Edell glasses.

At eight or nine feet away, the television is going to be a little blurry. You'll need a very supple correction for that or you'll wind up squinting. Squinting changes the shape of the cornea. It's a very elastic organ and it will pop back into shape when you stop squinting.

For the sake of comfort you might get into a better position for television watching. The best position for looking for long periods of time, whether at the computer screen or at the television, is to be at least semi-upright and facing forward.