Eye-Friendly Texting The 20-20-20 rule. Try and look up from your phone every 20 minutes for 20 seconds, and focus on something at least 20 feet away for a couple minutes. This will allow your eye muscles to relax and blink more often, thus refreshing them with moisture. Hold your phone away from your face. Research shows that the devices may not be to blame so much as how we hold them. The closer the object is that you are focusing on, the more your eyes have to work. People tend to hold smartphones considerably closer to their faces than they would a book or newspaper, even as close as seven or eight inches. To counter this, try using the "Harmon Distance," which is the distance between your elbow and the knuckle of your index finger. Adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen. Adjust your phone's screen settings to a point where you aren't straining to read text messages, approximately the same as the brightness of your surrounding room or workstation. As a test, look at the white background of this Web page. If it looks like a light source, it's too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark. Display a larger text. Most cell phones have a setting to magnify onscreen text for those struggling to read smaller text types. Making the text larger can relieve eye strain caused by squinting. Adjust the text size and contrast for comfort, especially when texting continuously for a long period. Usually, black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort. Color temperature. This is a technical term used to describe the spectrum of visible light emitted by a color display. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light that is associated with more eye strain than longer wavelength hues, such as orange and red. Reducing the color temperature of your display lowers the amount of blue light emitted by a color display for better long-term viewing comfort. Get a comprehensive eye exam. Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), computer users should have an eye exam before they start working on a computer and once a year thereafter. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye care professional from our office, for an eye exam or to discuss the possibility of receiving LASIK treatment, call 781-769-8880. HAVE QUESTIONS? Ask one of our Eye Care Experts, obligation free. Call us today at 781-769-8880 or CLICK HERE to fill out our Online Contact Form.