Too Much Smartphone Use Harms Your Eyes
We’ve become extremely reliant on our digital devices, never leaving home without our smartphones and spending hours each day on the computer. And while being so connected has certainly impacted our society in many positive ways, it is also creating cause for concern.
People who look at their smartphone constantly throughout the day (a recent report estimates that the average smartphone user looks at their device 150 times per day) are setting themselves up for some serious eye problems. In fact, staring at any digital device for too long can lead to a host of symptoms and problems, including:
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Tired or itchy eyes
Worst case scenario, staring at a screen of any size for hours a day can cause irreversible eye damage. While we aren’t telling you to toss your smartphone to the curb, we are suggesting you take a few steps to minimize the effects of blue light on your eyes.
Why Are Digital Screens Damaging?
As we’ve discussed in the past, it is imperative you do everything you can to protect your eyes when doing certain activities, such as playing video games. Computer vision syndrome is an umbrella term for vision issues that occur from looking at a computer, tablet, or smartphone screen for too long at arm’s length or closer.
Two main problems can result from looking at a screen for an extended period:
- Dry eyes – Dry eye happens when you stare at a screen so long that you forget to blink. When working on the computer or scrolling through Facebook, the average person’s blink rate goes from 15 times per minute to seven times per minute.
- Eye strain – If the screen you are looking at is set to bright or there is a glare, it could cause digital eye strain. The blue light from digital devices can feel very uncomfortable, especially if you are using your device at night.
How to Protect Your Eyes
Digital screens aren’t going anywhere, which means it is up to you to protect your eyes. One of the best things you can do is adopt the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a “reset” if you will and keep them from getting dried out or strained. Another option is to get a pair of reading glasses with an anti-reflective coating to protect your eyes.
Other tips include:
- Adjust the brightness on your screens
- Adjust your text size and contrast to make it easier to read
- Clean your screen
- Hold your smartphone further away
- Purchase an anti-glare screen protector