According to the latest Nielsen study, the average person sends about 500 text messages a month. With all this time spent staring at a screen, the effects of texting on eye health is evident now more than ever.
Texting is considered ‘near work’ or work where the eyes are forced to focus on an object placed nearby. Oftentimes the effects of texting can contribute to nearsightedness, eye strain or dry eyes. While texting keeps you connected, here are a few tips on how to stay connected without straining your eyes.
Eye Conditions Due to Texting
Nearsightedness: Nearsightedness or myopia is a condition in which you can clearly see objects located nearby, while objects located far away are blurry. According to a recent study by the National Eye Institute, myopia cases in the U.S. have increased dramatically over the years. While the exact cause is unknown, many doctors attribute this to eye fatigue from computer and mobile phone use.
Eye Strain: Eye strain commonly occurs as a result of staring at a small screen. It can lead to tired eyes, headaches and actual physical discomfort. The bright screen, small text and pixels all contribute to what has become known as ‘digital eye strain’.
Dry Eyes: Dry eyes is a stinging or burning sensation in the eyes due to a lack of moisture. Staring at a screen for long periods of time, during texting, can exacerbate dryness by reducing a person’s blink rate. Once the blink rate slows, less moisture is released into the eye, hence causing dry eyes.
How You Can Prevent the Effects of Texting
Use the 20-20-20 Rule: Look up from your phone every 20 minutes for 20 seconds and focus on something at least 20 feet away. This will allow your eyes to rest and blink more, refreshing the moisture in your eyes and relaxing the muscles used for near vision.
Hold Your Phone Away From Your Face:Contrary to popular belief, holding the phone closer to your face won’t make it easier to see. It’s actually just the opposite. Use the Harmon Distance – the distance between your elbow and the knuckle of your index finger – as a guideline to where you should hold your phone relative to your face.
Adjust the Brightness and Contrast: Make sure to adjust the brightness and contrast of your phone’s screen to a setting that is comfortable for your eyes. This ensures that you aren’t straining to read text messages or other mobile content.
Use Large Display Text: Check to see if your cell phone has an option to magnify the onscreen text to a more comfortable size. This will mitigate squinting relieving strain to the eyes.
CorrectVision Laser Institute is one of Florida’s most advanced vision correction practices with extensive experience in eye health. Our goal is to open your eyes to the world of great vision by offering unparalleled expertise and the most advanced technology available. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our South Florida eye specialists, located in Hollywood, Weston and Pembroke Pines!