Digital Eye Strain: How much time should you spend on your phone?
With the increasing number of digital devices surrounding us, screen time became a big issue. We used to spend a good number of hours looking at screens at work, at home, in the metro and even in the toilet.
However, according to a study, looking at screens can negatively affect physical and emotional health and can lead to eye strain after 2 hours.
Eye strain is the first consequence of a prolonged use of computers, tablets, and cellphones. The usual symptoms may include a blurred vision, dry eyes, itchy eyes, headaches, neck and shoulder pain.
By looking at screens during long hours, your blink rate typically decreases and, as a consequence, the tear secretion. Blinking is very important for eye health as it cleans the surface of your eye of any debris and washes it out with fresh tears. The coating of tears also helps sharpen your vision. When you’re doing focused digital work, your eyes are losing out on cleaning and nourishment.
Hopefully, there are some tips you can follow to adopt a healthier screen time and avoid eye strain:
- the 20-20-20 rule: experts recommend moving away from the screen every 20 minutes by looking at something that’s 20 feet way during 20 seconds. Your eyes will thank you.
- Adjust your screen lighting according to the room lighting (some devices automatically adapt the lighting).
- Keep a proper viewing distance: not too close, not too far. Smartphones and tablets should ideally be positioned about 20-28 inches from the eye and about 4 or 5 inches below eye level.
- Don’t use your phone in the sunlight: sunlight makes reading not easy to read and causes eye fatigue.
- Adjust the font size: increasing the font size of your phone makes reading easier.
- Blink often to help replenish your eye’s own tears.
- Consider computer glasses reducing your exposure to potentially harmful blue light emitted by digital devices.