Can You Go Temporarily Blind from Using Your Smartphone in the Dark?

Lights out should equal phone down

Photo: Getty

Lights out should equal phone down.

A new study by the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that using your smartphone in the dark can lead to blindness in extreme cases.

According to the Associated Press, two women examined for the study went temporarily blind after they constantly checked their phones while lying in bed at night.

Dubbed “transit smartphone blindness,” the condition led to recurring episodes of temporary vision loss for up to 15 minutes in the women, aged 22 and 40.

The temporary blindness was affecting only each woman’s eye that was used to look at the lit smartphone screen, because, as Dr. Gordon Plant of Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in London told the AP, “it’s taking many minutes to catch up to the other eye that’s adapted to the dark.” The study said that the women were only using one eye because their other was buried into a pillow, according to the AP.

Luckily, the condition is harmless, according to Plant, and has a simple remedy: looking at a phone with both eyes, and in light.

Dr. Rahul Khurana, a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told the AP however, that two cases weren’t enough evidence to point to an overarching problem. He also doubted other avid texters would experience similar side effects.

Moral of the story? If you’re checking your Facebook feed from bed, consider a nightlight!

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