Many of us spend good chunks of the day checking text messages, reading emails, catching up on social media and generally staring at the teeny tiny screens on our smartphones. This can lead to blurred vision, headaches, dry and sore eyes, and muscle strain.
Around one in four people with eye concerns complain about sore eyes due to spending time reading text on a small screen. The problem is that while we naturally blink once every three to four seconds, we only blink every six to eight seconds when we stare at a screen.
I didn’t believe this when I first read it, so I reread it – which took me about 12 seconds – and you know what? I didn’t blink. I looked away and immediately blinked four or five times in rapid succession.
The other thing I noticed was that I squinted to read the screen. That can also contribute to eye strain as well as neck, shoulder and muscle fatigue.
One way to combat these problems is to enlarge the text on your screen. Here’s how to do just that.
On your iPhone or iPad, head to ‘Settings’ then click on ‘General’. Next, select ‘Accessibility’, then tap ‘Larger Text’. Now, select your desired text size, then press the home button to exit the menu.
If that’s not enough and you want to make your text stand out even more, you’ll be happy to know that you can bold your screen text. To do this, just go to ‘Settings’ then click ‘Display & Brightness’ and flip the ‘Bold Text’ switch. Now restart your phone and your bold text will appear.
You can also use the good old ‘pinch apart’ gesture – which is when you put two fingers on your screen and pull them apart to magnify any images and text. Head to www.lukew.com if you’d like to know more about gestures.
If you’re using an Android phone, go to ‘Settings’ and click ‘Display’, then ‘Font Size’. Now you can choose from one of four settings: small, normal, large or huge.
While a standard Android phone doesn’t have a ‘bold text’ option, it does have a high-contrast feature. This adds a black outline around some of the text on your screen to make it easier to read. To access this feature, go to ‘Settings’, then tap the ‘high-contrast’ text box.
If you’re using a Mac computer, you can hold ‘Command’ and use the ‘+’ or ‘–‘ to enlarge or reduce the text and images on your screen.
For PC users, click on ‘Start’ and head to ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Control Panel’. Now double click ‘Display’, then ‘Settings’ and move the tab under screen resolution to the left to enlarge images and text on your screen.
Another trick that usually works for both computer types is to hold Control and scroll your mouse-wheel forwards or backwards, depending on how you have your mouse set up. Or you can use your trackpad and pinch in or out.
Do you know of any other ways to reduce eye strain? Why not share them with our members?