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.