Cell phones can also present other health risks. Up to 70 percent of Americans suffer from computer vision syndrome or CVS; problems that affect vision when staring at a cell phone or computer screen for over two hours. Staring at a cell phone screen for long periods of time causes eye strain which could lead to headaches. While staring at a screen, people tend to blink less, which leads to dry, itchy eyes. Vision can become temporarily blurred and eyes can appear bloodshot due to too much strain. Another more serious threat is staring at a cell phone screen for long periods of time could potentially change vision and damage eyes permanently. Some studies show that staring at a screen can cause nearsightedness. Also, some medical researchers have found that this prolonged exposure can cause eyes to “bubble,” a precursor to the formation of cataracts. This can severely affect vision and the eyes’ ability to focus.
Even though cell phones do indeed pose a threat to our health, there are measures that can be taken to help limit these dangers. Take frequent breaks when using a cell phone for an extended period time, such as a 10 minute break every hour. Choose a cell phone with a low SAR and turn off your cell phone when not in use to limit radiation exposure. Do not use cell phones in enclosed metal spaces such as elevators or vehicles where radiation is reflected back onto occupants. If you must make a call in these places, use a device such as a Bluetooth, which emits almost no radiation. Limit time spent using your cell phone and making calls, or use a landline. Also, keep your cell phone in a bag or purse instead of your pocket. Young children should only use cell phones in case of an emergency. Finally, the most important and effective tip - just set it down.