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Transient Smartphone Blindness

08/17/2016 17:14

Are you one of the many Americans who enjoy getting one last surge of entertainment before hitting the hay? Squeezing in that YouTube video you noticed your coworker getting a chuckle at earlier in the day or checking your friends’ latest Facebook posts? Most of us are guilty of it, but what you may not know is that this habit could cause temporary blindness in one eye.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at the effects of using your smart phone while in bed. The study followed a 22-year-old female and a 40-year-old female who had both been complaining about some vision issues that presented themselves after using their smart phones while lying in bed. The 22-year-old said she often used her phone while lying on her side before going to sleep, with one eye covered by her pillow. She noticed that when she sat up she would experience a loss of vision in the eye that had been used to view the phone. The 40-year-old reported the same issues, but said it happened when she used her phone in the morning before she got out of bed. Both women experienced these problems after viewing their phones in the dark using only one eye.

Each woman underwent strict evaluations and all tests came back normal. Ultimately, the study found that the loss of vision was a result of one eye becoming light-adapted while the other eye became dark-adapted. When both eyes were uncovered in the dark, the light-adapted eye was perceived to be “blind.”

At the end of the day, Transient Smartphone Blindness will not cause anything more than unnecessary anxiety. To avoid this issue, make sure to always view your phone with both eyes.

Stay on top of your eye health and make an appointment for you annual eye exam today! 


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