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Scrolling through your phone in bed can cause temporary blindness

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Adding another entry to the list of things you can do in bed that’ll make you go blind, the New England Journal Of Medicine recently published a report suggesting that reading your phone while laying down might temporarily impair your sight. (The article was presumably then republished in See, I’m Your Mother And I Know What’s Best For You Monthly.)

The report hinges on the accounts of two unrelated women in England, both of whom reported losing sight in a single eye. After months of testing, opthamalogists finally found the corroborating factor between the two cases: It only happened after the women laid on their sides in bed and read their phones in the dark. The medical journal goes a little more in depth on the causes of “transient smartphone ‘blindness’”, but the basic gist is pretty easy to work out: Laying on your side obscures one eye with the pillow, meaning it’s getting less light from your Facebook feed or cat video of choice. The obscured eye then adjusts to the darkness, while your phone eye gets “bleached.” Once you finally wrest yourself away from Pinterest and shut the damn thing off, the disparity between the two eyes’ condition causes the user to perceive their bleached eye as temporarily blind.


The report concludes with assurances that the condition is just temporary, so there’s no need to, say, freak out and undergo months of expensive tests to discover the cause. That, or it’s a subtle exhortation for people to lay on their backs while reading their phones in bed, so at least the oncoming visual impairment will achieve a pleasant symmetry.

[via Jezebel]

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