The impact of cell phones on eye health.

The use of electronic devices poses a challenge to vision. Our most distant ancestors required very good distance vision to identify dangers, observe prey and identify objects for survival. In our genetics we still maintain the traits of that need.

Nowadays with the advent of small screens, the obligation to use distant vision has diminished and on the contrary we are constantly exercising near vision, this has caused many visual diseases to develop.

We need to learn to use more responsibly mobile devices that surround us to give them the proper use, these were created for human benefit and not as a focus of new ailments.

The first symptoms of misuse of technology are: visual fatigue, eye dryness, myopia and sleep problems. It is worrying that the cell phone in most cases is the first thing we see when we wake up and the last thing we check when we go to bed.

Some guidelines for cell phone use:

Reduce the amount of time spent in front of the cell phone.

This device implies that we make use of near vision and therefore we make a greater effort in convergence and accommodation, in addition there is less blinking and therefore the lubrication of the eye is reduced. It is very important that we review the time we are using our device to try to reduce it as much as possible. This not only helps vision but also concentration.

Learn to use at the right distance.

The cell phone should use a distance of 30 to 35 cm, this is a prudent distance in which you should be able to enjoy everything your device shows you effortlessly. The suggestion is that from now on you seek to be aware of the distance at which you have your cell phone and make this a habit.

Replace it with a larger screen as often as you can.

Avoid watching movies, series, documentaries or reading on the cell phone. Try to give a place to your favorite programs or readings, hopefully that place is a tablet, computer or TV, the bigger the better. Remember that the cell phone is not made for this type of activities and therefore does not have the necessary conditioning for it. If you like to read digitally and you do not have the option of moving to a larger device, use a screen reader or at least intersperse reading times with listening times, there are several applications for this purpose.

Take breaks.

Pauses are breaks that should allow your vision to rest. There is a well-known rule on this point and it is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look for 20 seconds at 20 feet. It is likely that in the midst of your activities you will forget to do this, however, what you can do is anchor this activity to one that is already recurring for you, perhaps in your active breaks or task changes you can carry out this practice.

Keep your cell phone at the right brightness.

This point applies to all screens, specifically in the case of cell phones in most cases it is not necessary to have the maximum brightness capacity indoors. The automatic brightness option works very well for outdoors, otherwise use the manual mode and regulate until you reach the point where you do not have to make an effort but the brightness is not high either. Your eyes will get more tired with a large amount of light being so direct.

Do not use the cell phone in the dark.

As in the previous article, this applies to all screens. When all the lights are off, the eyes go into night mode, that is, the rods of the retina are activated and the pupil dilates; but if we add a light from the front, contradictions are generated in the orders and this conflict tires the vision and hurts us. The solution is to have an ambient light, even a mild one.

Use the cell phone before going to bed.

The circadian rhythm, which is the system that allows us to rest, is altered by having a very large blue light, causing our sleep quality to decrease considerably. It is estimated that you should leave the devices one hour before going to sleep and in case it is necessary to use them, you should put the screen in warm mode.

The recurrent visit to your eye specialist can help you avoid many diseases that can start with the misuse of cell phones such as dry eye.

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