Smartphones are all around us today, which is why it is more important than ever to know how to keep our eyes safe and healthy when using these devices. Staring at the small screen of a smartphone can cause eye fatigue at best and irreversible eye damage at worst. While our phones are necessary for our work and social lives, there’s no need to sacrifice our eyes by spending too much time glued to the screen of a smartphone. Thankfully, you can minimize eye strain and potential damage by adopting a few simple and healthy habits. Here are five quick and easy ways to take care of your eyes when using a smartphone:
1. Blink more frequently
When we’re staring at a computer or a smartphone screen, we tend to blink about a third less than we normally would, which can cause our eyes to become dry or irritated. Blinking is not something we typically do consciously, which is why it can be quite difficult to remember to do more frequently. But just by blinking more often, about 10 times every 20 minutes, you can keep your eyes moist and significantly reduce eyestrain. If you are having trouble remembering to blink or you find that your eyes still tend to get dry, then you might find eye drops to be the best solution for adding a bit of moisture to your eyes.
2. Take regular breaks
Human eyes aren’t meant for prolonged looking at short distances – they adapt when they are alternating between long and short distances. This is why you are forcing your eyes to act unnaturally when you are watching something at a close distance for a long period of time. When it comes to smartphones, there is something called the 20/20/20 rule. The concept is to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at something at least 20 feet away. Doing this regularly will prevent straining, help your eye muscles relax and it will improve your overall condition.
3. Position the screen properly
A common cause of eyestrain involving smartphones is when users place the device too close to their face or at a bad and unnatural angle. In order to give your eyes a break, aim to hold your phone at eye level, 16 to 18 inches away from your face, as this is considered to be the optimal distance. If this distance makes it too hard to read, then it might be time to visit your optometrist and get a new pair of glasses. 1001 Optical is a great place to find the perfect pair of glasses that suits your needs.
4. Adjust the screen settings
Having your screen too bright or too dark can strain your eyes out and cause problems when it comes to maintaining focus. To eliminate these issues, simply adjust the screen brightness so it’s similar to the room’s ambient lighting. Most smartphones have a setting which can automatically adjust brightness for the best viewing, but you also have the option of doing this manually. Adjusting the text contrast and size will also provide some needed relief to your eyes. Text which is too small tends to strain the eyes and decrease the viewing distance. Larger text is generally better for your eyes, as it makes it much easier to read all the content on your phone from a safer viewing distance.
5. Minimize the glare
Unless you have a smartphone equipped with a screen that reduces glare, such as Corning Gorilla Glass, or you use a matte screen protector film, you are probably encountering a fair amount of reflective glare. Although damaging to your eyes, this problem is fairly easy and inexpensive to fix. All you need to do is buy an anti-glare screen protector that is specifically designed for your phone model, in order to ensure the right fit, and carefully place it on your device. They are available in most mobile service provider stores and they make for a very cheap and quick solution to a potential eye problem.
By incorporating these simple habits into your smartphone viewing routine, you can take better care of your eyes and minimize eye strain and eye damage when using these devices on a regular basis.