Using Your Phone In Bed Can Cause Blindness, According To Studies

Women's Health |

By Macaela Mackenzie; photograph by Kevin Amato

Don’t panic, but we’ll say it again: using your phone in bed can cause blindness! The newest – and perhaps the best – reason to log off at night.

Even though you know that scrolling through your Instagram feed in bed screws with your sleep, you probably still do it anyway, right? (Hey, we’re all guilty.)

Well, it might actually be time to get serious about unplugging before you snooze: it turns out some women have gone temporarily blind after using their phones in the dark. Yikes! Yes, it’s one of the dangers of using your phone at night.

According to a new case study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the bright light from your phone can totally sabotage your eyesight – at least for a little while, anyway.

In one case, a 22-year-old woman was experiencing vision loss in her right eye – but only at night. After months of tests, doctors had no idea what was causing the transient blindness. Then, in a second case, a 40-year-old woman reported loss of vision in one eye for about 15 minutes every morning after she woke up. Again, the docs were stumped.

Finally, the experts found a common denominator: both women experienced the loss of sight after spending several minutes staring at their phones while lying in bed in the dark. Even crazier was that the vision loss was always consistent with the side each woman was lying on. Kind of make you want to reach for that old school phone, doesn’t it?

So what the heck gives? The problem is that when you lie in bed looking at your phone, you’re often only looking at it with one eye while the other is blocked by the pillow, explain the researchers. This causes “photopigment bleaching” in the eye that adapts to the bright screen light, while the other eye is busy adapting to the dark of your pillow.

The good news is the fix is easy. If you absolutely must stay logged on for those last moments of consciousness each day, make sure you’re using both eyes evenly.

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