Apps for your eyes (Try ‘em on, improve your reading, etc.)

These days, when your mobile phone breaks or when you don’t have Internet connection, it can feel like a complete catastrophe. Some people are even diagnosed with Nomophobia, or the extreme fear of not being with their mobile phones. If one was to count how many times you have checked your own mobile phones today, they would probably come up with a figure that is at least 150. It’s a difficult habit to ditch, but there are apps, which you can install in your laptops and mobile phones to minimize potential damage.

F.lux This app is available in most Apple and Windows devices. It controls the amount of blue light emitted by your gadgets, depending on the time on your laptop. This is based on the study that too much blue light emitted by your gadgets actually affect your sleep, because it messes up the amount of melatonin produced by the brain. If you were wondering what the link was between gadget uses and sleep deprivation, it goes deeper than a simple addiction to Facebook. If you were looking for an Android version of this app, you should try Twilight.

Calise This is a similar app, but doesn’t just manipulate the blue light. It controls the brightness of your screen by using your gadget’s webcam to detect light. If you suddenly dimmed the lights in your room, for example, you can expect the app to adjust the light levels so your eyes won’t be too strained. However, this is not a cure all as a dimmed screen can pose its own set of problems. It’s still best to kick, or at least minimize, gadget use at night.

EyeCare This app is simple but quite essential. The Chrome extension reminds us of the 20-20-20 rules. This is a good practice to keep if you want to avoid eyestrain. Every 20 minutes, the app reminds you to look at something for 20 seconds that is 20 feet away. This helps your eye relax, and is equivalent to a “stretch” when you have been sitting down for a long period of time. In fact, it might be a good idea to do some healthy limb stretches while you’re “stretching” your eyes.

Time out Similarly, this Apple app allows Mac, iPad and iPhone users to take ten-minute breaks every hour or 10 second breaks every 10 minutes. It’s a healthy way to “pace” your energy levels and not strain your eyes when you’re working on your computer for long hours. If you are on a tight schedule, though, the app understands. You can choose to skip a break and your screen won’t dim.

IReader When you visit a web page, you might feel like you’ve just walked into the town plaza. There are just too many things going on. The talking ads and the other moving flash icons can give you a headache and could also cause eyestrain. IReader lets you view a clean page with just the text and a blank white screen. It makes for a more comfortable reading experience, especially when you are researching. This is available in Chrome and Firefox