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Use of smartphone in the dark may lead to temporary blindness


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Do you constantly check your smartphone while lying in bed at night?

Use of smartphone in the dark may lead to temporary blindness

A recent medical report published in the New England Journal of Medicine has revealed that two women went temporarily blind for months after constantly checking their phones in the dark.

The two women, aged 22 and 40, experienced “transient smartphone blindness” or recurring episodes of temporary vision loss for up to 15 minutes. They underwent a variety of medical exams, heart tests and MRI scans but doctors couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the unusual phenomenon.
To prevent temporary blindness, the eye specialist suggests to look at smartphones with both eyes.

According to Dr. Gordon Plant of Mooerfield’s Eye Hospital in London, he was able to solve the mystery by simply asking the women what they were doing when the temporary blindness occurred.

“I simply asked them, ’What exactly were you doing when this happened?’” Dr. Plant recalled.

The women apparently looked at their smartphones using only one eye while lying on one side in the bed in the dark, while their other eye was covered by a pillow.

Dr. Plant said that by doing this, you are allowing one eye to adapt to the light since you’re looking at the phone. Meanwhile, the other eye becomes adapted to the dark.

“So you have one eye adapted to the light because it’s looking at the phone and the other eye is adapted to the dark,” Dr. Plant explained.

As a result, the phone eye wouldn’t be able to see when the phone is put down. This phenomenon, according to Dr. Plant, occurs because “it’s taking many minutes to catch up to the other eye that’s adapted to the dark.”

The eye specialist suggests to look at smartphones with both eyes to prevent temporary blindness.

However, Dr. Rahul Khurana of American Academy of Ophthalmology commented that the cases of the two women weren’t enough to prove that using one eye in the dark caused the problem. He said he and his wife attempted to recreate the scenario but had difficulty checking their phones using only one eye.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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