LYNCOURT (WSYR-TV) If you picked up your smartphone, how close would you hold it to your eyes? A new study found on average a person holds his or her phone about 14 inches from the face. The study goes on to say the closer distance could put added strain on your eyes.
Doctor Joe DiTota of Eyecare of CNY has seen patients on a daily basis complaining of symptoms caused by holding a phone too close.
"A lot of times we have patients who come in here with perfect vision but a lot of headaches and a lot of them are young kids and it's because of all the electronics they are using up close," says DiTota. "Technology is great but it's causing a lot of headaches for people, literally."
DiTota equated the strain to overusing a muscle without giving it any rest.
"It's like holding your arm out for 30 minutes. You're going to feel strain. That's almost what is happening with the eyes. So you're going to get that eye strain like dryness from not blinking. It won't cause any permanent damage, but it'll definitely cause headaches," said DiTota.
Kat O’Neil says she spends about five hours a day on her phone. When asked how close she holds her phone to her face, it measured about nine inches.
"It seems kind of close," says Karen O’Neil. "She has better eyes, she should be able to hold it farther away."
To reduce the amount of eyestrain caused by prolonged phone usage, eye doctors suggest taking breaking every 20 minutes if you use your phone a lot. One way to do that is looking away from your phone and looking off into the distance until your eyes can focus on an object far away.
Another suggestion is increasing the font size on your phone so you’re not straining to see the text.
The study can be found in the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science.