Doctors have identified a NEW smartphone hazard, albeit an ultimately benign one. They report in the New England Journal of Medicine on the first known cases of “transient smartphone blindness,” temporary vision loss that appears to be harmless. For the two UK women identified as suffering from it, the blindness was brought on by using their smartphones while lying on their sides in the dark in such a way that only one eye was viewing the bright screen while the other was blocked by a pillow. This caused one eye to adjust to the darkness while the other was adapted to the brightness. When the smartphone was turned off, “the symptoms were always in the eye contralateral to the side on which the patient was lying”—that is, the dark-adjusted eye responds fine to the now-dark room, but the light-adjusted eye seemed to suffer blindness for a short period.
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