If your day job involves computer work and staring at a screen for hours, you may be all too familiar with eyestrain. But your computer or laptop aren’t the only devices that can trigger eyestrain. Depending on how much time you spend looking at your smartphone, this device may also put too much stress on your eyes.
Smartphones can be useful in different areas of life. We use our phones to search the Internet, play games, watch movies and read articles. Many people also reach for their phone when bored. All of this, however, often results in staring at a bright light for hours. And over time, this light wears on the eyes.
Smartphone eyestrain comes on gradually. Signs include tired eyes, dry eyes, blurry vision and headaches. Of course, other conditions can also trigger these symptoms. But if symptoms develop after being on your phone for a while, your device might be to blame.
Here’s what you can do for relief.
Blinking is a normal reflex, so normal that many people aren’t aware when they do it. If you’re dealing with eyestrain, one way to relieve and prevent symptoms is to blink more often.
There’s a tendency to blink less when your eyes are engaged with a screen. But the more you blink, the easier it’ll be to keep your eyes moist and eliminate dryness. Blinking also helps refocus the eyes and gets rid of blurriness.
Use an anti-glare screen and turn down the brightness
The same way you reduce the brightness of your laptop or computer or use an anti-glare screen, you can do the same with your smart phone.
Purchase a protective glass screen with an anti-glare component, or adjust your screen’s brightness in your phone’s settings. You shouldn’t make your screen too dim because this can also strain your eyes. Find a happy balance where the screen isn’t too bright or too dim. You might have to play around with the settings until you find a comfortable level.
Give your eyes a break
If you notice headaches, blurry vision or tired eyes when staring at your phone’s screen, this is a sign that your eyes need a break.
Put your phone down for at least 20-30 minutes and do something else. Maybe clean the kitchen, walk around the room, or close your eyes for a few minutes. Putting down your phone also allows you to become engrossed in another activity. This activity can act as a distraction, and it could even help you entertain yourself without a device.
Increase your font size
Many smartphones have a feature that allows users to increase the text or font size. This can make it easier to read articles from your phone. Constantly staring at words or letters that are too small also puts stress on your eyes.
Put some distance between your smartphone and your eyes
You can also prevent or relieve smartphone eyestrain by holding your phone farther away from your eyes.
For example, if you normally hold your phone six to eight inches from your face, see if you can stretch this to 12, 16 or 18 inches. The purpose is to put distance between your eyes and the bright screen. Holding your phone at this distance might take some getting used to, but your eyes will feel better in the long run.
Smartphone eyestrain can be a literal pain. And unfortunately, it might not improve until you make some adjustments. So, make a conscious effort to put down the phone and give your eyes a break from time-to-time.