I keep hearing about tablets as Christmas presents. Everybody is getting them, everybody wants them, they are everywhere!
A few tips to keep your eyes from suffering from tablet use:
Don’t wear your glasses while on the tablet. Odds are that you will be holding it closer than you should anyway, and using glasses meant for distance vision will make the resulting strain significantly worse.
If you are using the Vision Improvement Course and are at less than -2.00 diopters for your normalized (distance) prescription, consider plus lenses (reading glasses) while you are on the tablet.
Reading glasses are great in some cases, as they limit your blur horizon for this short distance.
If you are new to all this, please don’t try the following, until you have a clear understanding of the whole premise of myopia rehabilitation.
In many locales you can buy reading glasses at convenience stores, drug stores, or book stores.
Take your tablet with you, next time you go to a store that sells reading glasses. Schedule a few minutes for this experiment: While you have a selection of plus lenses, starting with the weakest one – put them on, and try to read on your tablet. Examine how far you can get away from the tablet, before the text blurs.
Now: is that distance your regular distance you use while playing on the tablet?
Since tablet distance tends to be much shorter than what you use on a computer, and the distance is much more flexible, we tend to get quite close. Too close, in most cases.
It is difficult to keep healthy distance in mind, while being absorbed in content. It is too easy to move the tablet closer, without paying attention – especially to a distance that is comfortable the way you hold it. The plus lenses, if you use them carefully (ie still maintaining a maximum distance before the text on the tablet screen becomes blurry), can help reduce your eye strain.
Be sure to have good ambient lighting. Don’t use your tablet in a dark room.
Take breaks! If you need to, use a countdown timer app. Set it to an hour or less. When the time is up, get up, get away from browsing. Go walk the dog (or just go for a walk), read distant signs, car license plates, anything that gets your focusing muscle to relax. If you could get a break half as long as your close-up use, you are doing well!
These are of course all familiar topics to those of you who have spent some time on this site. The plus lens in particular might add a bit of additional protection, especially if you use it to push focus. Even five minutes for every hour of close-up will make a difference.
And if you push some focus, try to keep the maximum distance after you go back to just reading.
Remember, while these are small changes, if you do them consistently, they will become habits. Just starting every tablet use session with active focus pushing for five minutes, to establish your maximum distance (and then trying to keep that distance), and taking a 20-30 minute break for every hour of tablet use, will make a very significant difference over the long run.
Think of it all as a compromise. You have these great media consumption toys to entertain you, and in turn for the entertainment your eyes help provide, you will spend some time to protect your eyesight (so you can enjoy it in the future, as well).
- Five Minutes Focus Pushing When You Start Using The Tablet
- Keep That Maximum Distance For The Rest Of The Session
- Get A 20-30 Minute Break For Every Hour Of Tablet Use
- Consider Plus Lenses (if you are low myopia) While Using The Tablet
These are also some great rules to set for your children, while they play on tablets.