Chances are you or someone you know uses a smartphone. And, if you’re like most you find yourself using these little technology gadgets to do a majority of your online reading. However, a note worthy study was published in July’s “Optometry and Visual Science,” stating that the visual demands created by viewing websites on your phone and found two surprising conditions that set the stage for eye strain.
The study first found that the average font size of a website viewed on a smartphone was about 30% smaller than newspaper print, but could also range as small as 70% compared to your local newspaper.
The second finding was that patients held their smartphones much closer than the recommended reading distance of 16 inches. They found the average reading distance on a smartphone was about 12 inches, and with many patients viewing them as close as 8 inches away from their eyes.
Regrettably, both of these conditions cause a much higher focusing demand on the visual system and commonly can cause headaches, blurry or fluctuating vision, and significant eyestrain.
Although smartphones apparently are causing harm to our eyes, this doesn’t mean you have to throw away your iPhone or Android. Instead, here are some tips for reducing these eyestrain conditions:
- Use the pinch-zoom function to magnify the text
- Try to magnify it enough, at a comfortable reading distance, to be able to hold it at least 16 inches away from your eyes
- Try to save heavy web surfing for a larger screen, such as a tablet or home-computer
- Always be sure to give your eyes a break no matter what size screen you use
Adapting your eyes to technology doesn’t have to be difficult if you are just aware of how much time to spend in front of the screen and away from the screen. The physicians here a Valuvision care about your eyes and certainly hope these tips help you adapt more easily.