There may be a strong connection between technological advances such as smartphones and the deterioration of the eyes, a study has found.
Researchers found that people all too often hold smartphones much closer to their eyes than a newspaper, forcing the eyes to focus harder, and ultimately strain themselves to worsen over time. Not only is the distance between your eyes and a smartphone less than that of your eyes and a newspaper, but the font is also smaller, causing even further strain.
Dr. Mark Rosenfield, a SUNY State College of Optometry professor states:
The fact that people are holding the devices at close distances means that the eyes have to work that much harder to focus on the print and to have their eyes pointed in right direction. The fact that the eyes are having to work harder means that people may get symptoms such as headaches and eye strain.
The studies observed about 130 volunteers with an average age of 23.2 years old along with a separate group of 100 participants whose average age was 24.9. The researchers found that people, on average, hold their devices about 14 inches away, with some individuals holding them as close as 7 inches away. This differs from newspaper readers, with the readers holding their newspaper about 16 inches away from the eyes.
Font sizes in text messages were found to be about 10% larger than font found on a newspaper. But font on webpages is anywhere from 30-80% of the font size found on newspapers.
What should you do?
Try these things:
- Increase the font size on your device
- Use your device less
- Hold your phone far away, but not to the point of eye strain
- For computer users, try using Verdana 12-point font. This was originally the only font created and intended for computer use.