Smartphone and tablet: Six tips to avoid stress on your eyes

Smartphones and tablets have become the predominant devices people use to help with their daily activities due to their easy access and practicality. They are always within an arm’s reach, and they are especially useful when you cannot use the computer. However, the excessive use of these devices has raised concerns about the welfare of the eyes and the vision. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the ambient lighting when using smartphones because poor lighting may cause additional stress to your eyes.

Prof. Paolo Vinciguerra, Director of the Center of Ophthalmology at Humanitas Research Hospital, provides some instructions on using these technological devices without too much strain on the vision.

overuse of smartphone and tablet

Six tips to avoid stress on your eyes

1. Keep them at the right distance: “It changes according to the device used: shorter distance for the smartphone as it is smaller, and further away for the tablet as it is bigger.”

2. The screen must have the right light: “Often we set a low screen brightness to save on battery power, but this is a cause of stress for the eyes. The eye tires if the smartphone or tablet has dimmed lighting because the pupil enlarges and the area in sharp focus becomes smaller. Thus, sometimes one does not understand what is being observed.”

3. What does a small screen mean? “The small size of the screen is a particular problem for those suffering from presbyopia, a visual disorder that is age-related and that can arise after the age of 40. People who are farsighted have difficulty focusing up close and reading well the information on a smartphone or a tablet.”

4. Choose an “intelligent” smartphone and/or tablet: “There are devices that reflect ambient light and those who have their own lighting. The first require an intense ambient light, while the other devices have a measurement device that best adapts to the ambient light. It is up to the user to set the sensor properly.”

5. The resolution is fundamental: “It is very important that the screen has a good resolution: the lower the resolution, the worse the image quality, and the more the eye gets tired, even more so in those who have refraction disorders.”

6. Those who use a tablet should occasionally let the eyes rest: “The use of a smartphone is more persistent and frequent, while the use of a tablet can be prolonged or occasional. Therefore, it is important to take breaks to rest the vision and the eyes.”

If you can choose, choose the printed page

“For the eyes a printed page is always better than a “digital” page. Technological devices have made people proactive, everything is relying on the technology and its benefits and an effort is made ​​to read even in poor conditions that can stress the vision. In cases of a printed page, there is no doubt that its content should be read under sufficient lighting and physically it should be in good reading conditions. The print also helps to store information, especially for those who have a good visual memory.”


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.