A study exploring the effects of gaming on a smartphone concluded that the activity induces dry eye symptoms and reduces blinking in school-aged children.

Results, which were published in Eye, found symptoms worsened after one hour of gaming on a smartphone but tear film remained unchanged.

Researchers said blink rate reduced from 20.8 blinks per minute to 8.9 and interblink intervals increased within the first minute and remained unchanged throughout the hour.

It was concluded that smartphone use in children results in dry eye symptoms, as well as immediate and sustained slowing of blinking. The study recommended further research into longer term effects should take place given the ubiquitous use of smartphones by children.