Smart phone induced blindness
Staring at a smartphone in bed can trigger a temporary loss of vision which doctors mistake for a stroke, experts have warned
Increasing numbers of patients are visiting hospitals complaining of sporadic sight problems in one eye, lasting up to 15 minutes at a time, according to a report by British neurologists.
A&E doctors often mistake these symptoms for a transient ischaemic attack – known as a TIA or mini-stroke – a warning sign that a major stroke is on the way.
Experts from Moorfields Eye Hospital have warned the symptoms are usually nothing but result of looking at smartphone at night
Many people lie on their side at night, with one eye against the pillow and the other staring at the screen.
While one eye adjusts to the dark, the other eye gets used to the bright light of the high-resolution screen.
When both eyes are open, eye which was staring at the screen cannot cope with the darkness of the room.
‘Subsequently, with both eyes uncovered in the dark, the light-adapted eye is perceived to be “blind”,’ said the neurologists
It takes several moments for the eyes to adjust, leading people to believe they are suffering from severe problem.
The medical team warned this fleeting loss of vision is mistaken for TIA, leading to ‘unnecessary anxiety and costly investigations’.
use of Smartphones are now daily activities, manufacturers are producing screens with increased brightness to offset background ambient luminance’
‘Hence, presentations such as we describe are likely to become more frequent.’
A 22-year-old woman, had suffered dimmed vision nearly every night for a year before seeing the doctor.
‘The ophthalmologist took the history as a bizarre cluster of symptoms of dimmed vision when laying down at night and loss of definition,’ the experts wrote.
Her right eye was only able to see the outlines of objects.
She could see no more than vague outlines of objects which were more clearly visible with the contralateral eye.’
Eventually, the doctors realised she looked at her smartphone every night while lying on her side before going to sleep.
And when she tried looking at her phone with both eyes open, the problem disappeared.