As much as we depend on our mobile devices for viewing and responding to emails, checking the weather, reading headline news, and posting status updates on Facebook, our smartphones may be causing us some vision problems.
Staring at those tiny screens can bring on an array of eye issues such as blurred vision, headaches, sore eyes, headaches, muscle strain and dry eye.
Blue Light Damages the Retina
Those glowing flat panes, held mere inches from our face, emit a powerful light that can, opticians say, lead to permanent eye damage. Much of the light that comes out of a screen is blue-violet. Studies show that, over time, too much exposure to blue-violet light can injure the retina. Retina damage can lead to macular degeneration, the most common cause of geriatric blindness.
The average adult spends seven hours a day in front of a screen, and twenty-somethings check their cell phones about 32 times a day. The technology is too new to know how all that time will add up in later life, when our senses deteriorate anyway. Further research is needed to clarify potential risks.
What To Do To Be On The Safe Side
In the meantime, to be on the safe side, opticians recommends these tips:
- Turning down screen brightness and decreasing screen time when possible.
- Purchase a screen cover to decrease exposure.
- Avoid staring at a bright screen in dark lighting conditions, such as checking messages on your cell phone in a dark bedroom.
- Taking breaks.
- Remembering to blink often.
There's also an eye exercise you can do that will help you strengthen the eyes's muscles and help you see better again.
* Look to the far right for about 5 seconds, then look to the left. Rest for a couple of seconds before repeating the process again
* Look up for 5 seconds, then look down, rest for a while and repeat the exercise again for several times more.
* Roll your eyes in a circle, then rest for a couple of seconds and repeat the process.
* Take a pen, put it in front of your eyes at an arm's distance and center your look on it for about 5 seconds. Next, find an object far from the pen and look at it for another 5 seconds to relax your eyes and strengthen the muscles.
Repeat this simple exercise everyday or whenever you feel your eyes are tired.