Using Your Smartphone in the Dark Risks Speeding up Vision Loss
A 22-year-old woman in England thought she was going blind in one eye. She could always see fine out of her left eye. But on some nights, the right eye failed her. All she could see out of it were vague shapes in the room. At first, it happened about two or three times a week. Then it started happening every night. When she went to the doctor, her vision appeared normal. So did brain scans. But it was a disturbing trend. Around the same time, another woman noticed the same thing. On some mornings, she'd lose vision in just one eye for up to 20 minutes.
Vision loss in one eye can be a sign that a person is having a small stroke, which is why one of the women was put on blood thinners and the other got a brain scan. But after further investigation, researchers think the problem is much simpler. They're calling the affliction "transient smartphone 'blindness.' "
"Both women typically looked at their smartphones with only one eye while resting on their side in bed in the dark — their other eye was covered by the pillow," says Gordon Plant, an ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. "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 they put their phone down, they couldn't see with the phone eye. That's because it's taking many minutes to catch up to the other eye that's adapted to the dark.
New research is detailing how blue light, which emits from smartphone and laptop screens, can damage your retinal cells, and possibly lead to macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes vision loss. High levels of looking at a phone or tablet is linked with around a 30 percent higher risk of short-sightedness, also known as myopia. But when it is combined with excessive computer use, that risk rose to around 80 percent.
So, how can we protect ourselves? Unfortunately, blue light can be hard to avoid. It can come from sunlight and from our smartphones and PCs. But the researchers say that people should be careful about using their electronics devices in the dark. Doing so can focus the blue light directly into your eyes. People can also consider wearing glasses that's designed to filter out blue light. In the meantime, researchers are exploring whether an eye drop solution can be developed to counter these effects.
1. blood thinner 血液稀释剂
2. affliction n. 折磨人的事物
3. ophthalmologist n. 眼科医生
4. macular n. （眼球）黄斑的
5. degeneration n. 恶化，衰退，堕落
6. short-sightedness n. 近视
7. myopia n. 近视；目光短浅，缺乏远见
8. filter out 过滤掉；不予注意；泄露
9. eye drop 滴眼剂