Squinting to read a text or watching cute cat videos all night on your smart phone puts a lot of wear and tear on your eyes. Aside from leaving you with a gritty feeling under the lids, your smart phone use can also cause mild to severe headaches in sensitive people. Learn about the connection between smart phone eye strain and head pain, and find ways to possibly prevent your next cluster headache attack with easy tricks and some help from your eye doctor. Find more below.
Forgetting to Blink
Keeping a steady gaze on your phone screen is the only way to win a challenging game or read through a lengthy news article. Unfortunately, you also blink far fewer times per minute when staring at a screen. The average adult blinks about 18 times a minute when interacting with the world around them, but a smart phone user may only close their lids four or five times in the same period.
Blinking less dries out the eyes, leading to irritating fatigue, especially as the hours pass without a break from your favorite electronic entertainment. Dry eyes cause blurry vision, which further triggers squinting. The combination of hazy vision and tightened muscles around the neck and face can trigger a terrible headache that lasts even after you put the device down. Instead of making multiple visits to the doctor for your headaches, consider starting with a new pair of eyeglasses.
Shining Blue Light
Aside from head aches starting up due to irritated and dry eyes, the blue light emitted by your fancy touch screen device has surprising effects on your body. There is initial research linking retinal damage to excessive exposure to blue light, and a Harvard survey linked sleeping troubles and melatonin disruption to it as well. It's also linked to the eye strain that causes headaches. Natural sunlight is neutral on the color spectrum, so daylight bulbs and yellow incandescent lights can balance out the blue light shining out of your computer screens. You can also try yellow-tinted lenses to cancel out the opposite end of the color wheel.
Don't forget above the reflective surface of your smart phone - one well-placed beam of light bouncing right into your field of vision is all it takes to send a spike of pain through your head. A simple press-on coating roughens the surface to scatter light instead, reducing glare and improving visibility both indoors and out. Making the screen easier to read puts less strain on your eyes and may reduce the number of headaches you experience during long texting sessions.
Taking Simple Steps
If you notice a throbbing pain behind your eyes after a few hours of smart phone use, you're likely ready to try something to ease your eye strain symptoms. Start off simple with steps like:
- Changing the settings on your phone to reduce the amount of blue light
- Increasing text size, especially when reading long articles or texting
- Frequent breaks, every half an hour or so, to give your eyes a rest
- Setting a phone background that reminds you to blink more often while looking at the screen
- Limiting your screen usage to under 2 hours a day
Trying Special Lenses
When it's impossible to avoid staring at your smart phone screen all day, protect your eyes and prevent headaches by using a pair of specially made computer glasses. These products offer single or double focus vision correction so you see details clearly with less eye fatigue. Invest in a new pair of these glasses when your career involves keeping your eyes on a smart phone or computer all day.
With one pair of stylish new glasses you can enjoy the power of your smart phone with fewer headaches. Get more done on your busiest days while protecting your eye health. Daily and repeated strain leads to chronic dryness and blurriness, so the less fatigued your eyes, the better.