Looking at your smartphone while lying in bed at night could make you temporary blind in one eye, British doctors have reported.
This is contained in a report published in the June 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
According to an ophthalmologist with Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, Dr. Gordon Plant, the temporary vision loss can affect people who read their smartphone in the dark while lying on their side.
Plant said that after they stopped reading and got up to do other things, they might suddenly lose vision in the eye they had been using to read their smartphone, adding however, that the experience is temporary, with no risk of long term damage.
In the journal, the doctors detailed the experience of two women, ages 22 and 40, for months.
The women said they had been having recurring temporary vision loss for up to 15 minutes. They went through different medical examinations, including MRI scans and heart tests. The report said the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with the women until they approached an eye specialist’s office.
The study said, “Both patients were asked to experiment and record their symptoms. They reported that the symptoms were always in the eye contralateral to the side on which the patient was lying.”
Plant simply explained that both women typically looked at their smartphones with only one eye while resting on their side in bed in the dark while their other eye was covered by the pillow.
He said, “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.
When eventually they put their phone down, it is difficult to see with the eye they were reading the phone with. He added that the eye would need some time to catch up with the other eye that is already adapted to the dark.
“That’s because it’s taking many minutes to catch up to the other eye that’s adapted to the dark,” Plant said.