The pervasive presence of smartphones is having a detrimental effect on Australians’ eyesight.

Australian research shows that a 60-minute reading task on a smartphone results in increased eye strain symptoms.

Despite the vast majority of Australians ranking loss of sight as their number one health concern, our use of digital devices and its associated eye strain, is only increasing.

But what if you were told your smartphone is harming your love life? Would you put down the phone for the sake of your relationship?

A US study found three quarters of women in long-term relationships claim they feel that smartphones are interfering with their relationship.

62 per cent of women in long-term relationships who were surveyed also said technology interferes with their free time together.

On the other hand, increased eye contact has been shown to have significant benefits.

Relationships Australia explains that communication is much more than just talking. On their website they advise that to enhance communication you should set aside time to talk without distractions like phones, TV or computer games.

In a UK study, subjects who engaged in mutual gaze with a stranger for two minutes reported significantly increased feelings of passionate love.

This emotional viral video shows the effects just four minutes of eye contact can have on your relationship. (Warning: Any tears you may experience watching this may not be associated with eyestrain)

The facts about smartphones and your eyes

Australian research has shown that a 60-minute reading task on a smartphone results in increased eye strain symptoms and readers are more likely to hold the smartphone closer at the end of the hour.

Tired, uncomfortable eyes and blurred vision are the most significant symptoms reported after the hour-long reading task.

Ways to prevent sore eyes

Optometry Australia’s resident optometrist Luke Arundel recommends keeping a distance from screens and taking regular breaks from your device.

“Sit at an arm’s length from the computer screen, and try not to hold your tablet or smartphone too close.

“Also, look away from your screen and into the distance every 20 minutes for 20 seconds to allow eye muscles to relax.”

When to see an optometrist

See an optometrist if you have any of the symptoms of computer vision syndrome such as headaches, eye-strain or blurred vision.

Vision problems and eye disease can occur at any age, which is why regular eye examinations with an optometrist are important. Good vision isn’t just about seeing well, it’s about living, and loving, well.

Find an optometrist here

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