Friday, April 24, 2009

Bifocals help you use your cell phone

Optometrists discuss difficulty reading displays on cell phones, PDAs.
In the Boston Globe (4/24) Voices column, Alex Beam writes that, according to optometrist Jeffrey Anshel, OD, "who consults in the field of visual ergonomics," human "vision is engineered for about 30 years of use." Because "nobody was texting in prehistoric times," humans "are outliving our focusing ability," thus encountering difficulty reading displays on cell phones and PDAs. Jeffrey Weaver, OD, "clinical care director for the American Optometric Association," pointed out the "huge difference between typing...on a regular computer keyboard and thumbing out messages on a PDA." People "can type on a computer with crummy vision, as bad as 20/2100," Dr. Weaver said, but the "BlackBerry or cellphone keypad requires greater concentration and much better vision -- or glasses." Even "the dean of American visual researchers," James Sheedy, OD, PhD, of Pacific University, must use multifocals to read the display on his Apple iPhone. (courtesy AOA)

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