Tips on eye care for smart phone users.
Smartphones are very common today. But over use of the gadget causes eye problems like aching eyes, blurred vision, dry eyes from inadequate blinking, and headache from prolonged use.
If the user is already wearing spectacles or contact lenses, the problems tend to be worse since the eyes have to compensate for the optical aids apart from the strain. All this is due to the fact that most users tend to bring the phone close to the eye.
Texting and browsing the web on smartphones is the accepted norm and those who have multiple messages need to be on the phone for a prolonged period of time thus straining the eye still further.
Another hassle is using a smartphone while travelling. The jolts and shakes of travel — whether by car, bus or train — also increase the stress.
Interestingly, research has shown that when prolonged work needs to be done on the smartphone the user tends to hold it even closer. Where simple reviewing causes the smart phone to be held at a 14-16 inch distance, prolonged viewing especially in the young is often at 10-12 inches. In excess, this can lead to myopia.
Multiple reports have shown an increasing number of cases of myopia in young adults, which has been attributed to near-point activity on a smartphone. This has been termed screen sightedness. These problems are compounded by use of computers. An average active workplace involves eight to 10 hours of computer activity. Add to this the strain of smartphone use. In an adult it will lead to headaches, redness, irritation and dry eyes. In a youngster this will lead to increasing short sightedness.
What is the solution? Smart phones are now so ubiquitous that one cannot do without them. Here are some tips:
Reduce the time spent on these devices and get a device with a larger screen.
Use the device only for the minimum required quantum of work on a 4 inch screen device.
Restrict daily e-mail activities to a computer with a large screen.
A common technique of reducing eye strain by computer use — the 20-5 system, whereby for every 20 minutes of work, five minutes are devoted to looking at a point on the horizon that relaxes the accommodation muscles and prevents eyestrain from developing — is equally applicable to the smartphone. Fortunately since the smartphone is used more often than not when the person is travelling, its application can be alternated with distance views.