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Disastrous Effects of Excessive Cell Phone Usage on Eyes

There can be no two opinions about the fact that cell phones have revolutionized our lives and made them much easier.

But as the cliché goes, all food things come for a price.

And the price in this case is a serious toll on vision and hearing ability.

A leading laser eye surgeon has now revealed that smartphones and iPhones are taking a heavy toll on eyesight and causing myopia or short sightedness among young Britons.

David Allambym, the founder of Focus Clinics in the UK, has reported a 35 percent increase of patients with advancing myopia, since the launch of smartphones in 1997, and warns that worsening Myopia in young adults could increase by 50 percent within 10 years.

Disastrous Effects of Excessive Mobile Phone Usage on Eyes

In a research carried out recently, cell phone users were asked to demonstrate how they held their mobile phones while typing or texting over them or while using them for surfing the internet, etc. They were asked to wear their normal glasses or lenses while doing so.



It was seen that an average smartphone user kept his handheld device nearly 30 cm from his face. Some kept it as close as 18 cm.

The researchers also kept in mind the size of the text over mobile phone screens to see if the distance of the device from the eyes was appropriate.

It was found that average working distance for reading or typing text messages was 14.2 inches (36cm) while that for viewing web pages was 12.6 inches (32cm).

Now compare it to the comfortable distance of 15.7 inches (40 cm) you would need to maintain for reading a newspaper or a book. And calculate the extent of strain you are causing to your eyes.

THIS difference could distort vision correction, suggest optometrists.

Watching screens from such a close distance keeps the genes that help keep short sightedness or myopia under check active at an age that goes much beyond the normal age at which it SHOULD have stabilized.

Keeping cell phones at such short distances places increased strain over eye muscles to correct for distance. It also places excessive pressure on eye muscles for coordination between eyes.

Smart phones “may present a variety of visual demands that are significantly different in terms of working distances, gaze angle, and text sizes,” the study said.

Myopia which used to stabilize in most people by the age of 21 earlier now progresses and is not uncommon even during 30s and 40s, thanks to our addiction to our smartphones and iPhones.

Recent studies have revealed that an average smartphone user spends nearly two hours glued to his device every day. Add to this the time he would probably also spend in front of his gaming console, his desktop or laptop, television, iPad, etc.

Now, imagine the permanent damage we are causing to our ears and eyes.

If carried on unchecked over a long period of time, it can take a serious toll on visual health and be a cause of chronic headaches, myopia and other vision related problems.


Now that you know the safe working distance for reading or browsing over your cell phone, make sure you hold your device at a safe distance when you use it next time to make sure you do not cause any damage to your eye muscles.

If we do not check this epidemic called cell phone addiction, 40-50% of 30 year olds might suffer from ‘screen sightedness’ in the coming 10 years.

Try to minimize the time you spend in front of your mobile phones to keep your eyes safe and healthy.

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About Ambika Choudhary Mahajan

Hi, I am Ambika. A hands-on, stay at home mom (by choice) to two cheeky devils. I am a freelance writer and eBook author turned blogger. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to get regular updates.


  1. Dear Ambika, Thanks for sharing it, It’s a very informative post. However, don’t think that smartphone users much care about this, because even being aware of the fact that smartphone causes a lot of problems for our eyes, that still can’t stop using it. Our modern generation is almost addicted to smartphones and specially Smartphone Apps that do nothing expect wasting our time.
    Sumeet Kumar recently posted…What Does 404 and Other HTTP Error Codes Mean?My Profile

  2. great post,
    some people don’t even know stuff like this have side effects same as computers now, as a bloggers that stay awake on computer for long i was advised to wear eyes to protect my eyes talk less of mobile device that you use for 19 good hours.

    Oluwadamilare Bakare recently posted…Top 10 Best Sites To Download Free Mobile MoviesMy Profile

  3. Hey Ambika,
    i agree that many, if not most, studies are flawed in some way, or results misinterpreted and reported incorrectly, but when you have thousands of studies all over the world reporting the same dangerous effects you’ve got wonder about it.
    it’s not just disastrous to they eyes, cell phone generated micro-waves will cause cancer and many other terrible effects.
    and imagine if all the studies went public, what would happen to our economy ?
    i think even if the studies were confirmed, they would never go public and warn us about it, Apple and Sumsung etc… can easily buy off the press, cover up, delay it etc …
    Profit over everything, Money makes the world go around!
    Many thanks and Best wishes!
    Mitch recently posted…How to Build A Professional-Looking Resume Or CV In 5 MinutesMy Profile

    • I couldnt agree more with you on that, Mitch.
      Just sharing a personal experience with you- my husband has been diagnosed as suffering from tinnitus last month. He hears a continuous buzzing sound in his ears all the time. Even when he is sleeping. And that has been attributed to heavy cell phone usage. The nature of his work is such that he is glued to his device for almost 2 hours every day. And it is taking a heavy toll on his hearing ability.
      I am thankful that he is not much of a gaming freak or not too fond of apps like whatsapp, etc which are addictive and that his eyes have been spared.
      But yes- ultimately, all manufacturers are looking for profit only. They wont warn us even when they know that we need to cut down on the usage.
      WE ultimately have to be more aware of the health hazards and take steps to address the issues. It would be useless to blame the manufacturers alone if wem inspite of knowing how bad the devices are for us, are not able to cut down on their usage.
      My hubby, I am glad, has tried to make hiss conversations shorter since he realized the need to do so and uses the Speaker phone more often to keep the device away from his ears.
      Ambika Choudhary Mahajan recently posted…9 Points You Need to Keep in Mind Before Choosing a WordPress ThemeMy Profile

  4. Ramen@Private Investigators in salem

    thanks for the information with us .this is the interesting article .

  5. Great post Ambika Choudhary. Thank you MA’m for sharing it. Well all know using cell phone for a long and continuous time, it will have adverse effect on eyes, but no user are going to stop the use of cell phone. What are the remedies to stop this?
    Jijin Mohan recently posted…Micromax Canvas Turbo A250 ReviewMy Profile

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