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Can watching movies on mobile phones damage our eyes?

Can watching movies on mobile phones damage our eyes?

Technology and mobile phones especially, have revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. In addition they have also changed the way we work, and spend our leisure time. In fact, most people young and old, are seen with their eyes glued to their tiny phone screens, and rightly said to be addicted to the smartphones.

Not only are phones and other handheld devices being used to talk to each other, we use them for viewing and responding to emails, reading news, and posting status updates on Facebook, we are now using our mobile phones to even watch movies! Given that an average Hindi movie is about two and a half hours long, the question that is logical and comes to mind is simple: Can watching movies on mobile phones damage our eyes? The simplest possible answer is yes.

How does watching movies on mobile phones damage our eyes?

This question can also be asked in another way: What are the problems with excessive phone use? Almost twenty five percent of people attending an eye clinic complain of eye strain, and this number has increased dramatically since the advent of smartphones. Staring at the small screen without blinking is known to cause several problems like blurred vision, headaches, sore eyes, and dry eyes. This may be associated with redness and watering from eyes, as well as difficulties in focusing for near.

These symptoms are collectively known as Computer Vision Syndrome.

Why does watching movies on a mobile phone cause eye strain and Computer Vision Syndrome?

Eye strain is a result of severe fatigue due to over use. When you are watching a bright screen, which is small and held close to your face, your blinking rate reduces to less than half of normal. This results in dryness of the eyes.

Since you are watching a small screen with details which require you to focus constantly, the small muscles of the eye responsible for convergence go into fatigue and spasm. This causes headaches and the blurred vision. Whether you are watching a movie on a mobile phone, or in the cinema, or even if you are chatting on Facebook or Whatsapp, the result is eye strain and Computer Vision Syndrome.

Precautions to prevent eye strain

The answer to the Computer Vision Syndrome cannot be stop using the mobile phone, because that is not practical or possible. So here are some tips on how to use your mobile phone better, so as to prevent damage to your eyes, despite watching movies on your mobiles.

  1. Take regular breaks: Remember the 20-20-20 rule for 20/20 vision. After every 20 minutes, look away from your phone and look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Close your eyes for twenty seconds. This will help rest your eyes and prevent fatigue.

  2. Adjust brightness of your mobile phone or computer screen: Make sure that your mobile phone screen brightness is adjusted so as to minimize damage to the eyes. If you are watching a movie on your mobile phone, make sure the room is well lit room, so that you can adjust your screen to lower brightness.

  3. Think and blink: Remember to blink your eyes frequently. This is the single most important factor for preventing dry eyes.

  4. Seek help: In case your vision is not returning to normal, or your problems are persisting despite precautions, please visit your doctor to discuss your problems, which could be due to reasons other than just watching a movie on a mobile phone.


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