More and more we’re seeing people glued to their handheld devices, whether that’s watching the last Netfliix  episode on the train to work, texting a friend or reading the morning paper, but have you thought about the effect using these devices could have on your eyes?

Specsavers Beckenham store director Premal Patel has some top tips on how to look after your eyes when reading or watching programmes on electronic devices.

  • Wearing your regular prescription glasses when reading from a handheld device is not always best. During your regular check-up with your optician tell them about your reading habits as they may prescribe a different strength of lens or incorporate an anti-reflective coating.
  • Good lighting - make sure when you’re reading from a screen, that the room is well lit. When sitting looking at a screen in the dark, your eyes will suffer.
  • Safe distance - keep your e-reader at a safe distance from your eyes. You risk further eye strain when looking at a screen that’s too close. By holding it further away, it will allow your eyes to focus more comfortably.
  • Keep it clean - it may sound simple but regularly cleaning the screen of your handheld device is so important. Wiping away dust and grime build up makes sure text on the screen can easily be read without inadvertently struggling to see it.
  • White background - many e-readers have innovative in-built technology to change the font and background colour. Although this allows you to personalise the screen and your reading material, it can also add to muscle strain in the eyes if you’re not careful. The best colour scheme to have on a handheld device is black text on a white background - multi-coloured options should be avoided.
  • Enlarge text - devices will generally have the option of changing the font size, so take advantage of this and make sure you select larger text if you find yourself squinting and straining to read a tiny font. And most of all, remember to get regular eye tests to keep your eyes healthy.

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