Is There a Connection Between Smartphones and Eye Strain?

Smartphones and Your Eyes

We probably all heard this one as a kid: “Don’t sit too close to the TV or you’ll strain your eyes!” Now fast forward to the age of smartphones, and everyone is constantly looking at a screen that’s only a few inches away from their eyes.
Recent studies estimate that half of American adults use a smartphone or table to get their news. That staggering number makes you wonder what sort of impact all of that screen time has on our eyes. If you finish your day wondering why your eyes feel tired, then you may want to consider exactly how you’re using them. It’s more than likely you’ll discover you’re spending a lot of your time looking at once device screen or another. 
Being able to easily access information anywhere means that we’re constantly bombarded by computer screens. This can be great for work, fun, and general functionality, but it can be very difficult for our eyes to deal with on a day-in, day-out basis. 
Whether you wear glasses or contacts, you need to make sure you give your eyes a break, because it is more than likely that your smartphone and other mobile devices are causing eye strain. If you’re like most Americans, chances are you’re probably quite attached to your smartphone, but don’t forget about your eye health. Studies have shown that people hold their mobile devices too close to their face, which forces their eyes to work extra hard. So give your eyes a break whenever you can. 
Set Your Smartphone Aside Whenever Possible
Sure you need your smartphone, but you also need healthy eyes and vision. Besides chronic eye strain and fatigue, you can actually serve to decrease your productivity and quality of life by not properly resting your eyes. Taking breaks from your smartphone is the first step in giving your eyes necessary rest. It may not be easy, but you do need to remember to ditch that smartphone from time to time and let your eyes rest. 
In fact, it might not be a bad idea to put your smartphone away for one day per week. Of course this doesn’t mean that you should spend the day without your tablet, PC or laptop altogether, but if possible, you should give your eyes at least one full day a week where they are free from the flare of computer screens – no matter how large or small. The end result will be rested eyes that will suffer from less fatigue.

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Kerry Solomon, MD

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Our renowned ophthalmologist serves Charleston, and the entire state of South Carolina. Dr. Kerry Solomon's ophthalmology practice is located in Mt. Pleasant, with an additional location in West Ashley. Our practice specializes in refractive lens exchange, PRK, LASIK, laser cataract surgery with multifocal IOLs and toric lenses, and other eye surgery procedures. Dr. Solomon's patients come to Charleston from areas such as Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Beaufort, Hilton Head, Goose Creek, Johns Island, and Kiawah Island, SC; Asheville, NC; and Savannah, GA.

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