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Improper smartphone use leads to temporary vision problems

news
24 June 2016

The seemingly harmless habit of users to view their smartphone before bedtime could give them vision problems, doctors have warned after two women in the UK experienced temporary blindness after looking at a bright smartphone screen in a dark room.

According to Live Science, the two women experienced short-term vision problems that occurred late at night or early in the morning.  In the first case, a 22-year-old woman said she experienced difficulties while seeing out of her right eye at night and she could only view outlines of objects. She experienced the problems several times a week for a year.

The other case concerned a 40-year-old woman who could not see out of one eye in the early morning before sunrise. The problem persisted for around 15 minutes but occured intermittently for six months. Doctors said in both cases the vision problems happened after the women stared at their smartphones' screens for several minutes while lying in bed on their sides.

According to the doctors, the women's temporary blindness stemmed from looking at their smartphones with just one eye without realising it. When a person lay on his/her side, the other eye got blocked by the pillow and adapted to the dark, while the other eye looking at the smartphone got accustomed to the light. The light-adapted eye became 'blind' after the smartphone went off and took several minutes to recover from its "blindness."

According to Dr Gordon Plant of Moorfield's Eye Hospital in London the temporary blindness was ultimately harmless, and easily avoidable, if people stuck to looking at their smartphones with both eyes.

According to Dr Rahul Khurana, a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it was a fascinating hypothesis but the two cases were not enough to prove that one-eyed smartphone use in the dark caused the problem.





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