British doctors have disclosed that those who read from their smart
phones in the dark while lying on their side in bed risk temporary
blindness in one eye.
This was contained in a report published in the June 23 issue of the
New England Journal of Medicine where the doctors detailed the
experience of two women, ages 22 and 40, for months.
An ophthalmologist with Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, Dr. Gordon
Plant explained that after they stopped reading from the smart phone
and got up to do other things, they might suddenly lose vision in the
eye they had been using to read, adding however, that the experience is
temporary, with no risk of long term damage.
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
According to the study, “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 disclosed that both women typically looked at their smart
phones with only one eye while resting on their side in bed in the dark
while their other eye was covered by the pillow.
He added, “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.”