Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes may not be the only factor in your eye health.

Staring at the small screen on your phone for extended periods of time may also be damaging to your vision. In fact, there has been a 35 percent increase in myopia (near sightedness) since smart phones hit the marketplace in 1997, according to the Miami Herald.

A decade ago I found it difficult to imagine checking my email on a small screen, but now I've been a convert for some time.

No surprise, though, it turns out smart phones are causing strain on our eyes in similar proportions to computers and reading fine print. The caveat here is the distance we are holding the device from our faces.

You may think the opposite to be true, but the closer we hold the device to our eyes, the more they strain to focus. Studies find people are actually holding their screens quite close — just 7 to 8 inches away. With high blood sugars causing blurry vision and dry eyes, diabetics may fall into this group.

Mark Rosenfield an optometrist who studies this phenomenon recommends:

Take breaks - Take time outs from the screen; refocus on objects in the distance which helps to relax the eyes.
Hold your phone at a distance - Holding smart phones at least 16 inches from the face is suggested.
Increase the size of the font - This will encourage the user to hold the device further away.
Limit screen time for kids - Children's developing eyes are also in danger by staring at a flat screen instead of playing with toys at various distances such as blocks.
With diabetes already putting your site at risk, controlling extra variables like this becomes extra important. Maintain eye health by regulating blood sugars and getting annual eye exams.