What time is acceptable to spend at the computer and TV?
Peculiarities of using computer and TV by healthy people and epileptics.
From 5 to 15% of all epileptics suffer from bouts which may be caused by flashing of light. Women face this problem 2.5 times more frequently. A reason of bouts for photosensitive patients can be watching TV, playing computer games, flashing light in a disco. This refers to all forms of epilepsy, whose EEG demonstrates the increase of epiactivity due to flares and flashing lights during provocative tests. The patients with photosensitivity (not all patients with epilepsy) should be limited in watching TV. But even photosensitivity is not a cause to completely deprive a patient of using computer. Such restriction encourages reduction of living standard. You only need to follow the rules.
Terms of watching TV for people with photosensitive epilepsy:
- A child shouldn’t watch TV more than 1-1.5 hours a day;
- Distance to the TV should be as much as possible (not less 2 meters);
- It’s necessary to create an additional room lighting to reduce light contrast.
- It’s better to choose a TV with a small screen size.
- The TV must be color; contrast – not sharp; frequency of allocation-high (100 Hz);
- To control the TV you need to use remote control;
- It’s necessary to close one eye to reduce flicker during you watch at flickering images, flashes, etc.;
- If a patient does not get enough sleep, tired or feel unwell, he shouldn’t watch TV.
Terms of watching TV for people with epilepsy:
- Length of staying at the computer shouldn’t exceed 1-1.5 hours. Moreover, every 30 minutes it is necessary to take a break for 10-15 minutes to relax the eyes;
- Distance from the eyes to the monitor should be at least 35 cm (for 14-inch screens);
- It’s necessary to create an additional room lighting to reduce light contrast;
- The monitor must be protected from all kinds of glare;
- It’s better to choose LCD monitor or monitor with high resolving power. And to give preference the SVGA standard with a frequency of allocation at least 60 Hz;
- A monitor screen should be clean; settings should be adjusted correctly;
- It’s forbidden to scrutinize small image details at close range;
- Other monitors and TVs must be removed from the field of vision;
- If a patient does not get enough sleep, tired or feel unwell he shouldn’t use computer.
You should remember the reason of flashing light is not only television sets and computers, but also natural phenomenon. Bouts of people with photosensitive epilepsy may be provoked by such natural events, as: bright glare on water, sparkling snow in a sunny day, the alternation of light and shade (f.e. if you look on trunks of trees flashing at sunset from the window of moving train).
In case of intensive light stimulation one eye is recommended to be closed. If the day is sunny, sunglasses will help yow.
Now let’s talk about healthy people and epileptics without photosensitivity.
What time is acceptable to spend at the computer and TV for healthy people?
Terms of watching TV for all people:
- An older child shouldn’t watch TV for more than 2 hours a day. The total duration of watching TV for children from 3 to 7 years cannot be more than 40-50 minutes a day; from 7 to 13 years – not more 2 hours a day. At that, continuous load shouldn’t be more than 1.5 hours;
- Break after every hour should be the rule for you;
- Distance to the TV should be as much as possible (not less 2 meters or 5 diagonals);
- Don’t watch TV in complete darkness. It’s necessary to use additional lighting of room to reduce a light contrast;
- TV screen shouldn’t be glaring. It shouldn’t mirror lights, windows and other bright objects;
- Don’t look in TV at an angle, even if the screen allows.
So, now you know how much time you can spend at your computer or TV, compared the differences between rules of watching TV for photosensitive epileptics and for healthy people. Following these terms allow you to keep your health strong and to avoid bouts, negative impact on vision and nervous system.
Translated by S. Kitaeva.
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