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The Effect of Smartphones on Eye Health

Thursday, February 6, 2014 @ 07:02 AM
Author: Jason Lau

It is hard to go in public without seeing a majority of people using their smartphones. People spend two or more hours, on average, texting, plating game, and surfing the web on their smartphones. They are considered a modern convenience and most people would feel lost without theirs. There are consequences to pay for this convenience though. New studies are coming out that question the effect on the brain. One thing researchers have confirmed is the damage smartphones can do to eyesight.

Smartphones, when used excessively and at a short distance, can cause myopia and nearsightedness. In addition, it can cause:

  • Eye strain
  • Dry eyes
  • Inability to focus
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision

A recent study by eye surgeon, David Malayalam shows that shortsightedness is up 35% since smartpones became available in 1997. He predicts that percentage to rise to 50 over the next decade. This especially alarming for kids and teens who are using smartphones at a younger age and are at risk for permanent and irreparable vision loss. He also found that users were holding their phones too close, when compared to reading materials.

While smartphones aren’t going away anytime soon, there are some things that can reduce the strain on the eyes while using them:

  • Hold the phone further away from your face
  • Use the phone in a brightly lit room so the back-light isn’t the only source of reading light
  • Refrain from using in the middle of the night when eyes are sensitive to light
  • Reduce screen time and take frequent breaks
  • Get more sunlight, which can also reduce shortsightedness
  • Increase font size to reduce squinting and straining
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