Is Your Smartphone Taxing Your Eyes?

Monday, 25 July 2011 09:33 AM

If you’re a smartphone user, chances are you already know what a recent study found: The tiny letter size is straining your eyes and giving you headaches.

Research appearing in the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science found that people using smartphones to browse the Internet and read text messages hold the devices closer to their eyes than they do when they read a book or newspaper. The effect? Device users’ eyes are having to work harder, HealthDay reports.

"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," study co-author Dr. Mark Rosenfield, a professor at the SUNY State College of Optometry in New York City, tells HealthDay. "The fact that the eyes are having to work harder means that people may get symptoms such as headaches and eye strain."

The study involved experiments in which participants were asked to read text messages and Web pages using their smartphones. Researchers measured the distance between participants’ eyes and their devices, and measured font size.

Participants writing or sending text messages held their phones about 14 inches away on average, with some holding them as near as seven inches. Researchers note that the average reading distance for books, newspapers, and magazines is about 16 inches.

Eye experts concluded that considering the popularity of smartphones, people’s vision should be tested at closer distances, and device users should increase the font size.

To read the complete HealthDay story, Go Here Now.

© HealthDay

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Monday, 25 July 2011 09:33 AM
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