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Today sees the release of Apple’s new operating system IOS 13. One of the headline features is a dark mode setting, described as a beautiful colour scheme for night use. It is also said it may make it easier on your eyes, and many people may already have a similar setting on their existing phone. But can it prevent eye strain?

Many people worry that using a screen can tire or harm their eyes. The good news is that there is no evidence that screen use causes harm or damage to your eyes, however many people are effected by eye strain.

Night mode may be useful by reducing the overall screen brightness and improving screen contrast, but there is little published evidence available to say whether it is effective at reducing eyestrain.

If you use a device at night, using a dark mode or night shift features maybe helpful, but the College has some additional advice:

  • Apply the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. That will give your eye muscles a rest.
  • Try to blink regularly.
  • Position your device screen so that it is between 40 and 75cm from your eyes and is held below the level of your eyes.
  • Use a text size that is easy to see. Make things larger if needed.
  • Avoid using a screen when very tired.
  • If you are affected by dry eye, consider using lubricating eye drops.
    Most importantly, have regular sight tests and wear glasses if you have been prescribed them. If you have concerns about eye strain, speak to your optometrist.