We love our smartphones! They make it so easy to keep in touch and post pictures of our lunch. The downside? They’re causing a huge spike in nearsightedness!
Statistics show there’s been a 35-percent jump in the number of people diagnosed with nearsightedness since smartphones came on the scene in 1997\. That’s where you can see things perfectly close-up, but objects in the distance appear fuzzy and blurry. World class laser eye surgeon Dr. David Allamby says smartphones are the culprit. He’s even nicknamed the epidemic “screen sightedness.” And he predicts the problem will increase 50-percent in the next decade, especially in kids because they often spend hours on their phones playing video games and texting with friends.
So why are smartphones destroying our vision? Dr. Allamby explains that our eyes see in 3D. So we end up over-focusing to search for 3D images that don’t exist on our smartphone’s 2D screen, which causes eye strain.
Also we literally get up close and personal with our phones. New research shows that most of us hold our handset about 11 inches from our eyeballs, and some people hold their phones only seven inches away. But typically when we read newspapers or books, we hold them 15 inches away.
Plus we’re glued to our phones more than ever. And looking at any screen, meaning your phone or your laptop, for more than two hours a day sends our eye muscles into overdrive and can result in “screen sightedness.”
So what’s the best way to protect your vision without giving up your smartphone? Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes look at something at least 20-feet away for 20 seconds. That’ll allow your eye muscles rest and reset. And parents, limit your child’s screen time to a couple hours a day, max. Children are at the most risk for nearsightedness because their eyes are still developing.