Many youths in this generation spend a lot of time reading with their mobile phones and personal computers. If you were someone like me, you will switch from one device to another – from phone to PC and vice-versa – reading or working.
While this mobile devices (and desktops) have made life easier, they come with a downside which is called digital eye strain. You have heard about it or you haven’t. It is caused by exposure to the blue light in your mobile device for too long.
I understand that you can’t do without your phone – I can’t, too – but to be safe, we need some steps and activities to control and prevent any eye issue.
What can happen if I stare at my phone for too long?
The things that can happen include
- Tired eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- And headaches
If you think this is a joke and you haven’t experienced it, then I commend you. It means one of the following
- You haven’t been using this device for long
- You are special
- You are lying
One research says about 78 percent of America is affected. Another says young kids who spent more time staring at phones and tablets have higher chances of developing dry eyes. Dry eyes make the eye secrete less moisture in form of tears and the same research found a simple solution which is to reduce time spent staring at the device.
What should I do because I can’t stay away from my phone?
I said earlier that I can’t do without my phone. And you can’t either. It brings books to our pockets so we can take it every where and read. It makes work easier for those of us who have a lot of work to do online.
Those who work with computers spend time at work staring at the screen and when they get home, they take out their phones and catch up on the latest news.
Therefore, to keep the eyes safe, these are the things we should all do:
- Buy glasses that reduce glare
No, it will make me look like I have an eye problem.
It’s better to look like you have eye problems than to actually have them. A pair of glare-reducing glasses will save your eyes from issues that may result from reading on your phone for too long.
- Take a minute break every 20 minutes
When you are working on your pc or phone, stop after 20 minutes and stare at something farther for a minute. Hey, not the television. You are taking a break from the bright light from a screen and it won’t be advisable to do that with another bright light. So stare instead at the city through the window of your room or the artwork on the wall of your office for a minute and return to your task. Then, repeat after another 20 minutes.
I heard the other time when you said you can’t afford glasses.
You can blink, can’t you? So blink. It relaxes your eyeballs and makes you feel better.
- Position your screen a little farther
The farther you can keep your phone or laptop, the better. This is hard to do because we work with our fingers on the keyboard or the screen of the devices and our hands are not that long. But you should know that keeping your device too close to your nose is not good for your eyes. When you want to use your phone, keep it away for as long as 18 inches.
- Adjust your screen settings
When you are indoor, you can reduce the brightness of your screen. It reduces the amount of light that goes into your eyes. Some mobile devices have features that protect your eyes. Read about them and apply them. Apple, for instance, updated their device with what is called ‘night shift,’ it dims the screen to an orange display at night.
Some of the apps made for reading on your phone have what is termed ‘night mode.’ You know this but you haven’t been using it. Turn it on and you will enjoy reading with the feature especially at night.
This is how WPS looks like on night mode
Other apps will warn you to take a break and, for your eyes, you should obey.
- Increase the blood flow in your eyes
You do this by massaging your eye lids and the area around it or by engaging in sport especially ball games.
- Good diet
You have heard that a good diet is good for the body. Most of the foods that are recommended are good for getting muscles and losing fat. How about your eyes?
Eat liver and carrots and foods that have vitamins.
And those are the activities on how to stay safe from dry eyes while reading with your phones and other devices generally.
Some of the activities are as simple as blinking your eyes, so do what is best and keep reading,