Have you ever watched someone sit and stare at their phone? I’ll admit, most of the time I’m too busy staring at my own phone to observe anyone else doing the same. Last night I had the opportunity to observe a young woman engrossed in her phone resting in her hand. It scared me.
We all know that staring at digital devices has begun to cause even more eye strain. There are other impacts too. Here are a few I picked up on last night while watching the young woman last night navigate her phone over the course of a few minutes. It might make you think twice about when you’re staring at YOUR phone.
Staring at Your Phone Kills Your Posture
You tilt your neck. You slump your head towards the screen. Your shoulders may roll forward too. All this tilting and slumping is sure to make chiropractic care a possible necessity. Remember when we used to walk looking forward, holding our heads straight? That rarely happens anymore. We all walk looking down at our devices. “Text Neck” is a real problem, caused by the constant forward-tilt of the head of most smart phone users. Until they mass reproduce those glasses or contact lenses like they use in Mission Impossible (the ones that will allow you to read texts looking through them), we’re all in trouble!
Staring at Your Phone Makes You Squint
If you can’t quite get the Instagram photo large enough, or your email text big enough to read, so you squint and strain and stare and contort your neck (see above) until you can make out what the words on the image or the tiny type face text says. This is not healthy!
Beyond digital eye strain, that squinting is hard on your eyes. You are making them work extra hard with less light. In addition, all that squinting could cause creases and crinkles on the sides of your eyes and your forehead. Squinting is bad, and our phones make us do it too often.
Staring at Your Phone Can Dry Your Eyes Out
Have you ever been reading from your phone for so long that when you finally look away it’s hard to see anything? Part of the problem is focus, but another part is often dry eye. When we stare at our screens for long periods of time, we forget to blink. Blinking is important for keeping your eyes moist. Remember to look away from the screen and blink often, so phone-induced dry eye doesn’t do you (or your contact lenses) in!
Talk to your Eyeglass World optometrist about more suggestions for protecting your health, including your eye health, while using your smart phone.