These days, people are ALWAYS on their phones. Walking down the street, sitting on the bus, at the dinner table, always texting. I couldn’t help but think, is this hurting my eyesight? I already have bad eyes, but I have noticed them get increasingly worse. So, I decided to check it out.
From my studies, I have learned that looking at one’s phone can strain the eyes immensely. This happens especially when reading small fonts or browsing the internet for long hours at a time. Studies show that if you already wear glasses, looking at phones can make it worse for you. They have been said to have to make up for the strain from the phone on the eyes. Both of them straining together is never good.
Besides headaches, irritation, eye dryness, and redness, this can lead to more serious things like myopia. Myopia is near-sightedness, meaning the eye can not bend light the right way to see things clearly. This can happen most commonly to people who read books or long texts on their phones. They are bound to get a headache eventually from the strain.
This is all short-term, but what about long-term? Phones give off HEV light, known as blue light. This blue light is defined by Digital Trends as “that portion of the visible light spectrum that comprises light with the shortest wavelengths, which carry the greatest potential to damage living tissue.” (Hill 2015) This means it is very dangerous to living tissue currently in the eyes. This HEV light can damage the tissue in the retina, possibly causing permanent eye damage, but it has not yet been confirmed.
A 2014 study found that the average US citizen spends 7.4 hours looking at screens throughout the day. An average night of sleep is 7.7 hours. See the problem here? But considering the increase in technology within the last 10 years, it is not surprising that Americans spend this much time on their phones.
Although it seems almost impossible to cut down on looking at your phone, one way is by using the 20/20/20 rule. This means taking 20 seconds of relaxing after every 20 minutes and turning your eyes to something 20 feet away. You would be surprised to see how much better you feel after trying this out!
One experiment that could be done would be getting 20 adults to use their phones regularly and count how many hours they are on their phones. Then the next week take away these devices entirely, and record their feeling after it was over. See if these adults feel any physical relief. Who knows, maybe it will be a significant difference!