Researchers warn that smartphone devices cause numerous health problems, including headaches, eye damage, and fatigue.
Their pet names vary from “iGod” to “CrackBerry”- stereoscopic 3D screen smartphones are addicting, and their popularity won’t be fading anytime soon. With one smartphone device, you can Tweet your boss on the way to work, answer calls via Skype, check the stock market, and play Angry Birds, all without taking your hand off the steering wheel (just kidding). There are even health apps for Android and iPhone that will help you stick to your diet, relax to soft background music, and manage your migraine headaches. (See 20 iPad Apps for Migraine Sufferers.)
How ironic, then, that current research suggests that continuing usage of such smartphone 3D devices can be detrimental to your health. According to a report published in the Journal of Vision, long-term usage of stereo 3D devices like Android phones, BlackBerries, and iPhones, can be extremely harmful for your vision, in addition to causing multiple health problems like headaches, fatigue, and eyestrain.
Martin S. Banks, author of “The Zone of Comfort: Predicting Visual Discomfort with Stereo Displays,” blames the small 3D screen. “When watching stereo 3D displays, the eyes must focus — that is, accommodate — to the distance of the screen because that’s where the light comes from,” explains the optometry professor. “At the same time, the eyes must converge to the distance of the stereo content, which may be in front of or behind the screen.”
- The study led by Banks focused on twenty-four adults.
- Researchers instructed test subjects to focus on a variety of foreground and background images on a small stereoscopic 3D screen, at close range.
- Subjects suffered the most eyestrain and headaches because of having to concentrate on the images that were closest to the screen, as opposed to the background images.
- Conversely, when subjects viewed 3D images from a further distance, the average viewing distance from a movie screen, they experienced more pain symptoms from concentrating on the background images.
Researchers hope to conduct similar tests on children and teenagers, hoping to prove a correlation between habit-forming games like Nintendo 3DS and a growing trend in symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and nausea among adolescents.
The manufacturers of Nintendo urge customers to take a gaming break every thirty minutes to avoid eye discomfort, fatigue, or nausea. They also urge parents not to allow small children to use the Nintendo 3DS, because “the muscles for the eyes are not fully formed.”
As for your beloved smartphone, a little space is not such a bad thing. Some other conditions that scientists attribute to excessive smartphone usage include carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia, and social media addiction. In time, the makers of Android are bound to come up with a device that lets you Google restaurant locations, shop e-Bay, and locate your parked car- all without giving you a migraine.