Staring at the tiny screen of a smartphone for long hours can cause eye fatigue at best and irreversible eye damage at worst. While you can hardly imagine your life without a smartphone, there is no need to sacrifice your eyes (you will need them later, for sure), since there are some effective ways to minimize the risk to one’s eyes from smartphones. Here are a few of them.
1. Get an Anti-Glare Screen Protector
Most mid- and high-end smartphones do come with an anti-glare screen by default, but if yours doesn’t, go get one immediately. Anti-glare screens are not expensive but can make a drastic difference because they reduce the amount of blue light that gets to your eyes.
If you don’t want to get a whole new screen, the next best thing is an app. For instance, Bluelight Filter for Eye Care for Android also reduces the amount of blue light but isn’t as effective as a separate anti-glare screen.
2. Blink Frequently/Splash Your Eyes with Water
Blinking frequently is recommended when using a desktop, but for smartphones it’s even more important. Staring at a screen dries your eyes and the natural way to moisten them is by blinking. This reduces the negative effects of screen radiation.
Additionally, if you splash your eyes with water (just any ordinary water, nothing fancy here), this also helps to moisten them.
3. Follow the 20/20/20 Rule
Human eyes aren’t created for prolonged staring at short distances. Rather, a human eye adapts when alternating between a long distance for a few seconds or minutes and a short distance. This is why when you are watching something at a close distance for hours, even if it is just reading a book, you are forcing your eyes to behave unnaturally.
With smartphones, there is the so-called 20/20/20 rule. Basically it means that every twenty minutes you need to look at something at least twenty feet away for at least twenty seconds.
Even better, after every forty or fifty minutes with your device, take a ten- or fifteen-minute break away from any screen. If you are not too lazy, you can even exercise a bit – this will help not only your eyes but your overall condition.
4. Adjust the Brightness, Contrast, and Text Size
Brightness, contrast, and text size are the three aspects of a smartphone that affect eyesight the most. Brightness and contract that is too high or too low brightness and contrast are both harmful to the eyes. You can use common sense to adjust them, or you can get an app to automatically adjust brightness. They have apps for this for Android, iPhone, and probably any of the other less popular platforms.
It will also help if you avoid prolonged smartphone use in dim environments. Never ever stare at the screen in the dark.
As for text size, don’t keep it too small because it strains the eyes and decreases the viewing distance. Generally, larger text is better, though scrolling time to see everything on a page is increased, and this is certainly irritating.
5. Keep Your Screen Clean
With your fingers constantly on the screen, by no surprise there are lots of dirty marks on it. This dirt is not only unsanitary but also adds additional strain on your eyes. Just take a soft cloth and clean your screen regularly.
6. Keep the Right Distance
Another common reason why your eyes hate your smartphone is that you place it too close. Although I am not a vivid smartphone user (because I find this device too large to carry just for the idea and too small to use for browsing or reading), when I do use mine I do tend to place it quite close to my eyes.
I know this is wrong, but when I can’t see it properly from the recommended distance of sixteen to eighteen inches away, I am fooling myself that just a minute or two won’t cause much damage. Whenever possible, try to keep your device sixteen to eighteen inches away, as this is considered the optimal distance.
If your eyes are a known weakness in your body, these tips might not be enough to protect them completely, but without them it’s worse. In any case, it won’t hurt if you follow them – they don’t demand that much time and effort, but the results are rewarding.