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Smartphones – visual stress for the eyes

Whether smartphone, tablet, navigation device or computer – millions of people look at a screen every day. Over the years, viewing habits have changed – the nationwide representative index “Gute Arbeit 2016” of the German Confederation of Trade Unions reports that 47 percent of 25 to 29-year-olds in Europe are short-sighted. We explain the connection.

As Heise reports, according to the 2018 ARD/ZDF online study, around 77 percent of the German-speaking population aged 14 and over are online every day. In a joint online survey with the trade magazine EYEBizz, ZEISS found out that the average German looks between 60 and 80 times a day at the smartphone display. According to the Digital Eye Strain Report by Vision Council, this is more than two hours a day. At the same time, the number of short-sighted people is increasing. Certainly not a coincidence!

Rising number of short-sighted people

Constant focusing on screens has a negative effect on the eye, as the patient is in near vision mode. This is referred to as “digital visual stress”. The healthy balance, the distant view, is missing in most cases. The eyes rarely have the opportunity to “recover”. Due to the constant focus on screens of mobile phones or tablets, the eyeball stretches. The focus of vision shifts. While in a “healthy” eye vision takes place exactly on the retina, in a nearsightedness it takes place in front of the retina. The result: increasing nearsightedness.

How can nearsightedness be prevented?

Only as long as the human being is still growing can one have a natural influence on the development of the eyes. Since smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of everyday life despite increasing nearsightedness, solutions must be found to counteract short-sightedness.

Daylight plays an important role here: According to an Australian study published by Ian Morgen in the magazine The Lancet in 2012, two to three hours a day in the fresh air are recommended to counteract the harmful consequences. In addition, the 30/10 ratio applies. You should look 30 minutes away, 10 minutes into the distance.

Also make sure that you are at a sufficient distance from the screen in everyday life, no matter which device you are using. For computers, 50 to 80 centimeters are ideal. Also avoid taking your smartphone or tablet into bed, so you avoid additional sleep disturbances.