By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TVBy Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – Whether it’s an iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry, many of us can’t imagine living without our smartphone.

But some people are having eye and skin problems from looking at those hand held devices for long periods of time.

Doctors are now calling this “Smartphone Squint.”

Sydney is one of those people who seems incapable of putting her phone down.

“I am looking at my phone, I would say, from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. Looking at my email on my phone, or my texts, or I’m trying to text back, or read the news,” she added.

Lately, she’s noticed some fine lines and wrinkles, and she blames them on that tiny screen.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Lucien Del Priore said, “Smartphones induce you to squint during the day time and that contracts the muscles around your face.”

This is not unlike so called “Texting Thumb” which causes frequent texters to suffer finger and wrist injuries.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

Doctors believe “Smartphone squint” can lead to eye strain and dry eyes, as well as those fine lines and wrinkles.

Dr. Robert Grant, a plastic surgeon, said “With ease and convenience comes some consequences.”

Some people are now even opting for what’s being dubbed “Blackberry Botox” to stop the wrinkling.

“These medicines partially block the muscle from contracting, and since the muscles around the eye can’t contract, the fine lines and wrinkles can’t appear,” explained Dr. Grant.

Dr. Grant said Retinols, both over the counter and prescription, can help reduce the fine lines and wrinkles.

But in this case, he says prevention is the best medicine.

“There’s lot of things you can do to adjust the settings on your Blackberry to avoid having to squint. You can make the font size bigger; you can have the print appear larger on the screen,” he said.

You can also turn down the lights in the room, or go inside. And don’t underestimate the importance of taking a break.

Dr. Del Priore explained, “Just the simple act of looking away from the phone and looking at something in the distance, every 15-20 minutes or so, takes away from the strain on the eye muscles.”

If those tricks don’t work, you can also consider going to a larger screen, like an iPad.

Paula Ebben

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