MEDICAL STUDY: SMARTPHONES CAN CAUSE BLINDNESS
A new study reveals that people are going temporarily blind from using their smartphone in the dark. The good news is that I’m going to share some quick and easy tips to help save your eyes.
The New England Journal of Medicine study follows reports of two different women making repeated visits to their doctor to try to find out recurring blindness happening in one eye. It turns out that test after test, the results baffled doctors. Suddenly an ah-ha moment leads doctors to notice the similarities of the patients. In each blindness case, the women were using their smartphone at night in bed in a certain way.
WHY TWO WOMEN WENT BLIND
With one open eye trained on the bright smartphone screen and the other closed or pressed against the pillow making it see only darkness something strange happened. Blindness set in for a period of about 15 minutes. Each time it is the open eye used to look at the display that lost sight. One woman age 22 and the other 40 had one thing in common aside from the way they used their smartphone at night in bed. They are both obsessed with checking their smartphone at all hours.
UNDERSTANDING ‘TRANSIENT SMARTPHONE BLINDNESS’
The temporary blindness which occurs in the eye staring at the smartphone can be avoided by using both eyes in the dark or not using your smartphone at all while in bed. Leaving a light on also helps avoid the onset of this brief blindness. The condition has now sprouted the name “Transient Smartphone Blindness”. There are some immediate settings you can easily change to make smartphone screens easier on your eyes.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR SCREEN MORE EYE-FRIENDLY
If you use your smartphone at night in bed, there is a relatively new setting you can tap into on all Apple iOS devices called NightShift. This setting designed to help you sleep better will lower the intensity of the brightness and eyestrain by turning it on. NightShift blocks more of the intensely bright blue light adjusting the screen to a warmer and softer shade during night hours.
Google Android has toyed with their own version of ‘Night Mode’ which can filter out blue light and knock down the brightness in the evening hours reducing eyestrain. But for now, there are two apps leading the pack that you can download to make an Android screen easier on your eyes.