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Increasing iPad use is leading to a number of eye health issues that could potentially affect your vision in future. Understanding the possible issues and taking preventative measures will help you to protect your eyes. This can be done without depriving you of your computer screen.
With the ever-increasing amount of people who now own an iPad, new research into how the device can affect your eyes has been being carried out around the world. The convenience of the device has meant a dramatic increase in the amount of people who use one and the impact on our eye health is now being felt.
Today, iPad strain has become a common phrase, but what does this actually mean? There are several effects that continual use of an iPad can have and these are listed here. Preventative measures are also discussed in order to ensure that you are able to continue using your device whilst lessening any potential pitfalls.
iPad Strain
In fact, iPad strain is only a new name given to the long lamented LCD screen strain. Up close, LCD screens can be very bright and many people do not adjust the brightness to suit their eyes. This in itself can cause eye fatigue and is the most common eye complaint people have about the iPad. This can usually be easily remedied by experimenting with the brightness of the backlight.
Focusing Issues
Focusing on an iPad screen is very different from focusing on a flat object as, depending on what you are looking at, distance and perspective change continually. This makes it more difficult for the eye to focus on what it is seeing and can lead to eye fatigue. If you are continually utilising your iPad to watch moving programmes or play games, this eye fatigue will be worse.
The real issue with a developed difficulty in focusing is that this can make it difficult to change focus to other objects for an extended period of time after use. Attempt to combat this by instituting the 20/20/20 rule – look 20 feet away for 20 seconds at 20 minute intervals to allow your eyes to refocus.
People blink much less frequently when they are staring at an LCD screen and this leads to tired and irritated eyes. Importantly, this also leads to a reduction in tear flow, which causes dry eyes. This is a condition that causes itchy and inflamed eyes.
Most people blink twelve to fifteen times per minute but staring at a computer screen can almost half this amount. Dry eye is usually only associated with aging, but more and more young people are now suffering from the condition.
This can be a particular concern for soft contact lens wearers who require eyes to be lubricated at all times. Avoid this by taking regular screen breaks, changing focus regularly by looking at something other than your screen or taking the time to attempt to blink more. If you wear contact lenses try something specifically aimed at lubrication such as focus dailies aquacomfort plus, which may help to prevent a worsening of this condition.
Preventative Steps
In addition to the specific preventative measures outlined there are a couple of important steps you can take to protect your eye health. Lighting can play a big part in the extent to which you are affected by staring at a screen so, where possible, ensure you are in a well-lit room and your device is free from glare.
The most important step you can take is to consult an optician and get an annual eye exam. This will help to ensure that you catch any issues early and enable you to monitor any degeneration year on year. Be sure to advise your optician if you feel you overuse your iPad as they may be able to organise a special prescription for you that may help to alleviate symptoms.
Angelina writes regularly on the importance of maintaining eye health for a variety of websites and blogs.