How To Reduce Eye Strain from your SmartPhone – Tips & Exercises

by Vishal Toshiwal 3

We live in a world surrounded by displays, may it be small or large, we have got them all; smartphones, laptops, desktop and Televisions. The problem isn’t with the simple act of staring at these displays, as using your eyes doesn’t hurt your eyes. What hurts is the fact that when people stare at screens, they tend to blink less frequently, thus, resulting in those dry, itchy eyes. That is the main cause of eye strain.

The prolong interaction with these displays, mostly with our smartphones, makes our eyes unhealthy and could just easily damage the retina if we are glued to the screens all day. Also, staring at a screen all day and later when you go to bed is the cause of sleep deprivation. The reason behind that is smartphones emit harmful blue light, which sends the signal to brain that it needs to stop producing melatonin. The same chemical is the cause which makes us feel sleepy. Moreover, it is also linked to be a slow cause of death in earlier reports.

Now even if you have a job that allows you to be glued to your phone, or have work that requires staying in contact with clients via texting or any other instant messaging services, doesn’t mean you should be glued to the smartphones all day. It is recommended to look up from your screen every 15 minutes and staring at something, which is far away, it lets our eyes readjust, as recommended by Lisa Park , M.D., an ophthalmologist at NYU Langone Medical Center

Since we are social and workaholics species, we can’t get away from screens without unplugging ourselves entirely. That’s why we have found these tools for your devices to stop those screen-induced symptoms.

Twilight

We know you can’t change your habits of taking your smartphone to your bed or using it even if you don’t necessary have to. Well, such kind of users there is an app named Twilight, which I’m sure, is one of the most effective apps available in the market right now. If you’re looking to reduce eye strain by controlling the screen settings, then by all due, you should download and install this app. There is a special bed reading mode available in the Twilight app that adjusts the color temperature, intensity and brightness levels suitable according to the research study.

Moreover, the app also allows you to automatically enable the app based on sunset-sunrise, bedtime-wakeup, as well as you can define the custom time during which you want the app to be enabled. The app settings allow you to exclude some apps from filtering, as well take backlight control in your hand. It is interesting to note that you can control smart bulbs like Philips Hue from this app setting. Note that there is a Pro app as well just for Rs 15, which will offer you some extra settings such as transitioning, setting offset timers, etc.

Twilight
Twilight
Developer: Urbandroid Team
Price: Free

Bluelight Filter

As talked about, a narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range is said to be one of the top reasons of suppression of Melatonin. When your eye is exposed to too much of this light, the photoreceptor in your eyes called Melanopsin, which then lead to suppression of the Melatonin chemical. This app gives you control over your screen’s color filter from five options, and you could also set the strength. There is not much to this app, except reducing the blue light emitting from your smartphone. Note that reducing blue light will relieve eye fatigue and protect your eyes from strain. The app is quite easy to operate; there is just one tap ON/OFF button.

Bluelight Filter - Night Mode
Bluelight Filter - Night Mode

f.lux

This tool is available across all the platforms; Mac, Windows, Linux and even on iPhone. Though it is also available on Android phones, with one condition; your Android smartphone needs to be rooted. The developer is quite popular for its application on other platforms. Thus, we have included this app for Android users as well, despite the requirement of a rooted device. Do make a note that, you can install and use certain features without rooting the device, but if you want to utilize the potential of this app fully, then you need to root your device. I reckon it shouldn’t be a problem, since; a lot of device specific tutorials are available on the web these days.

This app tricks you into feeling sleepy by not emitting blue light from your screen. Based on the time of the day, you can change the preferences between a candle, warm incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, etc. To sum up, it can keep your screen crisp and bright in the morning and a reddish, golden hue in the evening. Moreover, if you root your device, then it can offer a lot of services like an enabling darkroom, a variety of effects, scheduling, color driver access as well as AMOLED calibration if only your handset has an AMOLED display.

f.lux (preview, root-only)
f.lux (preview, root-only)
Developer: justgetflux
Price: Free

Easy Eyes

There are lots of application on Google Play Store that might offer you to adjust screen settings in a way that you can do anything and everything with it. But what if you just want to change the screen setting ideal for your eyes in one tap? Well, that’s where the Easy Eyes comes in. Just like its name, the application is quite easy to operate; all you go to do is tap on the closed eye you see. Once you do that, it will switch the screen settings to the most ideal where a harmful range of blue light we mentioned in above paragraphs wouldn’t emit from your screen.

Thus, allowing you to save your retina and not be sleep deprived, despite taking the smartphone to your bed for browsing. It’s not just you, who have a nomophobia, almost everyone in the world with smartphones has a fear of being out of mobile phone contact. That’s why you should install this app and at least make sure your eyes don’t suffer for your needs.

EasyEyes
EasyEyes
Developer: PalmerinTech
Price: Free

Blue Light Filter for Eye Care

This is not just another filter app for your smartphone screen but has a lot more to offer. You can see a variety of things in this app that would allow you to conveniently schedule the screen filters according to the needs. There are up to seven color filters that you can use to stop those harmful blue light ranges emitting from your smartphone screen. Once you purchase the license, you get a lot of goodies such as create home screen shortcuts, as well as change the navigation bar. Overall, you will like the simplicity of the app and how easy it is to operate.

Bluelight Filter for Eye Care
Bluelight Filter for Eye Care

We hope the above the apps would be helpful for you in reducing the eye strain that has been giving fatigue to your eyes. Keep your eyes healthy!

Exercises & Tips To Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Blink more Often

You have to blink. It is a most important part that most of us ignore, while humans naturally blink. Although, it is noted that people who work at a computer and uses smartphones a lot tend to blink quite less when compared to people with a non-computing job. And that is not healthy for your eyes at all. Blinking allows your eyes to lubricate in a way as it moistens your eyes, thus, preventing dryness and irritation in eyes. So, to reduce the risk of eyestrain, you should try to blink more often.

Follow 20-20-20 Rule

There is another major cause of that eye strain you experience; it is the focusing fatigue. To reduce the risk of tiring your eyes by constantly looking at your mobile or computer screens, you have to look away from those screens at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object that is at least 20 feet away. This should be done for at least 20 seconds. Eye Doctors call this the “20-20-20 rule”. When you look far away, the focusing muscles in eye tend to relax, thus reducing the eye fatigue.

Consider Computer Glasses

This is probably for having the best benefit out of those prescription eyeglasses. You should ask your eye care professional to modify those eyeglasses to create customized computer glasses. Note that it should be taken quite seriously as if you normally wear contact lenses, they do tend to become dry and acts uncomfortable during prolonged computer hours. That’s why one should wear computer glasses; they are the especially good choice if you have bifocals or progressive lenses. The reason is that those lenses are usually not optimal for distance to your computer screen. Now even if you don’t have need of prescription eyewear, you should wear computer glasses during those long sessions of staring at the screen.

Prevent Accommodative Spasm

It is a serious condition for your eyes, as people who tend to stare at their screens for a longer time are at higher risk of locking up the focusing ability of their eyes. To prevent developing any risk for this Accommodative Spasm you should do a simple exercise of looking at the far away object for 10-15 seconds, then gaze at something close for 10-15 seconds. After that look back at a distant object. This should be done ten times in a day.

Note that you should also remember to blink frequently during these exercises, which is the ultimate tip to reduce the risk of smartphone/computer related dry eye.

Vishal Toshiwal

Born in West India, raised in the North and currently chasing dreams in the southern part of India- Vishal is an entrepreneurial spirit, a tech enthusiast and a writer by profession, who is busy taking pictures when he is not writing. He would love to talk to you about the latest movies, TV shows and DC/Marvel comics. As a personal rule, he doesn't let a day get by without at least one dessert. Because, why not?

  • Woodnote(hulone_)

    Thanks for this insightful article on how to protect your eyes. Downloading twilight app right now.,

  • PRATHEESH PS

    Good selection of apps.. I use Twilight on my phones

  • Subhashish Mohan Dash

    great and healthy share..!!kudos..