The Journal Gazette
Sunday, June 26, 2016 10:00 pm

Answer to temporary blindness spied

Another alert from the Department of Things Not to Worry About: Transient Smartphone Blindness.

According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine Thursday, the strange cases of two women who suffered from frequent episodes of temporary blindness has been solved. Doctors tested the women’s hearts and scanned their brains but got no answer to the mystery.

Finally, a doctor at an eye clinic asked the 22- and 40-year-old women what they had been doing when the blindness struck. It turned out that both of them had been in bed, lying on their side, reading their smartphone in the dark, while one of their eyes was covered with a pillow.

Voila – an answer!

"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," Dr. Gordon Plant of Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in London explained to the Washington Post. When the women put their phones down, they were unable to see until the eye they’d been using to read adjusted to the darkness. The other eye – covered by the pillow – had already adjusted. Everything was OK again after the reading eye "caught up."

Plant said the condition is not dangerous and is avoidable. If you have to read your cellphone in the dark, just make sure you use both eyes.  

If only all problems were that easy to solve.

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