Two Women Go Blind After Looking at Their Smartphones in Bed

You already know it's not good to sleep with your smartphone under your pillow, let alone stare at it before you turn in for the night. Not only can it disrupt your sleep, but it can actually damage your eyes, as is the case with two women who went temporarily blind after looking at their smartphones in bed. 

A 22-year-old woman and a 40-year-old woman both experienced recurring temporary visual impairment over the course of several months, according to The New England Journal of Medicine

"I simply asked them, 'What exactly were you doing when [the blindness] happened?'" Gordon Plant, M.D., recounted to ABC News.

In both cases, the women would look lie on their sides with one eye being blocked by a pillow and the other eye staring at the smartphone screen. As a result, temporary blindness lasting for up to 15 minutes would occur in the eye that was not staring at the phone. Scary, no doubt. 

The authors of the report note that smartphone manufacturers have created super-bright screens so the user can see it easily. That's great for daytime use, but not so much as you're trying to power down before bed. The authors also predict that cases like these "are likely to become more frequent," given the fact that so many folks are using their phones while lying down.

That said, Rahul Khurana, M.D., a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told ABC News that he doubts very many smartphone fans will wind up going temporarily blind, as it feels "very odd" to look at a smartphone using just one eye. Nevertheless, do yourself a favor: Put the phone away before you get under the covers. That last refresh of your Facebook is just not worth the potential side effects.

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