Modern technology gives us many things.

How your smartphone could be ruining your eyesight

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Is your smartphone making you sick? Is it affecting your eye health? New research has shown our obsession with our mobile devices is putting our health at risk.

Research has shown our constant use and misuse of our smartphone is having adverse effects to our well-being and also putting a strain on our eyes.

The survey by online optical retailer Clearly.com.au of 500 Australian smartphone users revealed some alarming habits.

Most people hold their phones up to 22cm closer to their eyes than they would if reading a magazine or a book.

The study also showed 60 per cent of Australians use their device in bed immediately before they go to sleep with 40 per cent also using it in the bathroom.

“Eye fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, neck pain and dry eyes are all common symptoms of digital eye strain, which not only occurs while sitting at a computer, but also as we stare at our seemingly constant companions: smartphones,” says Clearly.com.au Chief Executive Officer, Duncan Brett.

“Simply put, our eyes are working overtime to maintain focus.

“Our research strongly suggests that devices themselves can cause eye strain too.

“Electronics emit a form of blue light that causes our eyes to refract, making surrounding objects go in and out of focus.

“To fix this, we overcompensate  by squinting.”

Other research has revealed 33 per cent admit to being distracted by their phone in social settings with 39 per cent admitting to missing what someone else was saying because they were on their device.

A further 36 per cent of respondents say they use their phone during a meal with others and 32 per cent admit to pretending to pay attention to someone while they are checking their phone.

The study showed our total obsession with our smartphones with 15 per cent saying they would  prefer to go a week without bathing or showering rather than giving up their phone.

And half of those surveyed said they would even give up coffee or alcohol for a week rather than their smartphone.

“Considering the impact of this high level of usage, Australians should talk to their eye-health professional about glasses made specifically to minimise digital eye strain and protect against blue light,” says Duncan Brett.

Eye health experts recommend three tips to minimise digital eyestrain:

– Observe the 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

– Avoid prolonged work on a tablet. Switch to a computer screen that is about 20-28 inches away from eyes.

– Clean electronic device screens frequently to minimise glare.