Tips to Reduce Eye Strain for Smartphone Users
Smartphones are part of everyday life for most people these days but they’re also one of the primary reasons for sore eyes. If you’re someone who’s addicted to your phone, there’s a good chance that your eyes will be suffering as a result. From tired and itchy eyes to severe headaches leading to blurred vision, there are many side effects from using your phone too much. The last thing you want is to require glasses or contact lenses / multifocal contact lenses as a result of the overuse of your phone. It’s even been suggested that smartphone misuse could contribute to serious eye diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma. Here’s a list of ways to reduce the strain and keep your eyes as healthy as possible without having to give up your smartphone entirely.
Blink More Regularly
Blinking helps to moisturize and lubricate the eyes which helps to minimize dryness and soreness. But when you’re using a smartphone, you tend to blink less than in other situations which is what leads to irritation. While it is a natural reflex that you don’t really think about day to day, try to remember to blink more when you’re using your phone to maintain better focus and keep your eyes moist.
Take Plenty of Breaks
Screen breaks are common knowledge for people who use computers regularly, but we often forget about them when it comes to our phones. One way to ensure you’re taking plenty of breaks is to use the 20-20-20 rule. This involves taking a 20-second break for every 20 minutes of screen time and looking at something that is at least 20 feet away from you. It may seem strange, but it helps to relax the eyes and gives the muscles in the eyes a chance to rest and recover. It can even be beneficial to set limits on how long you spend on your smartphone each day. Your phone tracks how many times you unlock the screen each day which you can observe in the settings or download an app that will track your usage, so you can see if you’re spending too long looking at the screen.
Add an Anti-Glare Protector to Your Phone
Anti-glare screen protectors are inexpensive but they will ensure your eyes don’t become too irritated as they help to reduce the reflective glare from the screen that can often strain the eyes. They serve double-duty too as they also help to protect your screen from damage so it’s a win-win!
Reduce the Brightness
Getting the balance of your screen brightness right is key to keeping your eyes healthy – too bright or too dark will cause the muscles in your eyes to become strained and can lead to squinting to see what’s on the screen. Make sure you regulate your brightness throughout the day, adjusting it to suit the amount of light around you to make sure you’re not putting unnecessary stress on your eyes. The blue light emitted from smartphone screens can also interfere with sleep as it tricks our body into thinking we need to stay awake, impacting the amount of melatonin – a sleep hormone – that our body produces. In order to give the eyes plenty of good-quality rest, try to switch your phone off an hour before you head to bed so your body can adjust to sleeping mode.
Keep your Phone at a Suitable Distance
Many of us keep our phones too close to our faces when we use them without even realizing we’re doing it, but this can put extra pressure on the eyes that can cause soreness over time. Studies suggest that we tend to hold our phones as close as eight inches from our eyes, but experts say that a healthy distance is around 16 to 18 inches away. Keeping a safe distance will put much less strain on the eyes and will help to reduce the risk of them becoming irritated and tired.
Change the Font Size
As technology has evolved, smartphones have become smaller, but this means that so has the size of the text to accommodate a tinier screen. A lot of people tend to keep the font size too small which can lead to squinting to read the screen, putting too much pressure on the eyes. You don’t have to stick to the default settings though – simply change it to larger font size to make reading the screen easier. Try to choose a wallpaper that ensures you can read the text easily too, so you don’t have to focus so intently – patterned wallpapers make reading texts tougher than it needs to be.
Keep the Screen Clean
Fingerprints, smudges and dust can quickly build up on a phone screen but without realizing it, it can also make it more difficult to read. Make it a habit to routinely wipe down the screen with a dry cloth to remove grime and smears so you can see clearly.