With few exceptions, most people are glued to their smartphones for most of their waking hours. It is common to see people looking at their phones while doing a variety of tasks, including eating and exercising. As a result of constant dependence on our phones, a lot of people suffer from nomophobia — the fear of not having their mobile device.
Our obsession to keep looking at the screen of our phone and other mobile devices has created dire consequences. A large segment of the population today has complained or consulted their doctor about digital eye strain symptoms, which include dry eyes, headaches, and lack of focus. Ophthalmologists trace the problems to not blinking enough while looking at the screen and the blue light that the device’s screen emits. Scientists also believe that blue light has stopped our brain from creating melatonin, which helps us feel sleepy.
Fortunately, there are now plenty of apps you can use to help protect your eyes. Here are a few options available for those looking to give their eyes a break:
F.lux — F.lux is popular because it will work on a variety of different devices, including Mac, Linux, Windows, and iPhone. The app adjusts the brightness of your device’s display, so your eyes aren’t exposed to as much blue light. It also adjusts throughout the day, depending on the time, so that when it’s nighttime, your brain will produce melatonin to make you sleep.
Twilight for Android — F.lux doesn’t have a version for Android, so if you are looking for an app that does the same thing on Android, check out Twilight. The app focuses on helping you get a good night’s sleep.
Awareness — This free app is available for those who use either Mac or Windows computers. You set up Awareness by telling the app how long you can look at your screen before it’s time to take a break. You can also specify how long your break will be. Once it’s time to take a break, the app will make the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl. The app won’t force you to stop using your computer, so it’s up to you to commit to your breaks. However, the app will track whether or not you stop and how long you are using your computer.
Nocturne — This is an older app, but is still useful for reducing eye strain. Nocturne is for Mac computers and helps your eyes by changing the way the display looks. However, it provides you with options so that you can pick a display that looks good to you and suits your needs, depending on what kind of work you do on your computer.
Protect Your Vision — This app is for computers and operates on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. When it’s time for your eyes to take a break, the screen will black out. There’s also an option for you to complete eye exercises. If you need to keep working on your computer, you can override the system to end the blackout. There are many other apps and products you can explore to help prevent eye strain, including anti-glare screen protectors for mobile devices. No matter what kind of remedy you pick, it’s important that you are doing enough to give your eyes and bodies the rest that they deserve.