Truth or Myth: Is Your Smartphone Screen Making You Blind?

Do you use your phone before sleeping? In bed and in the dark? Then you should pay attention, we break down the facts vs. fiction for you below!

What Do We Know?

Fact: If you look at it too closely you risk becoming near-sighted, and nearsightedness is related to other damages like glaucoma and retinal detachment.

According to eye experts interviewed by BBC News, smartphone damage on the eyes is caused by "the combination of not blinking enough and bringing the device closer than you normally look at objects."

When we strain our eyes like this, we risk developing nearsightedness, or myopia, the condition where you need to wear glasses, contacts, or have your eyes surgically corrected. This connection has been noted by Optometry and Vision Science researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and scientists even estimate that “one-third of the world’s population—2.5 billion people—could be affected by nearsightedness by the end of this decade.”
Fact: If you look at a bright screen in the dark you could risk temporary blindness, but it’s not permanent.

Using your smartphone in bed in the dark can cause a temporary loss of vision. Especially if you use one eye to look at the screen in the dark, when returning to normal lighting, that eye could temporarily feel blind as it adjusts, according to The New England Journal of Medicine as well as Medscape.

What Is Not Clear?

Scientists suspect there to be a link between the blue light emitted by smartphone screens, but this link has not yet been proven so far.

What Can We Do?

We know the risks, but we need our phones to connect with friends, to keep up with what’s happening, to play games, to watch videos what can we do to protect our eyes while using our smartphones?

1. Avoid keeping your phone too close to your eyes
2. Avoid using your phone in the dark
3. Use a blue light filter on your phone, like Twilight or EasyEyes.

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