Temporary Blindness Caused by Smartphone use at Night

Warnings emerge as two people experience “transient” vision loss lasting months


The New England Journal of Medicine’s latest edition details the condition that causes “transient blindness”, this occurs when using your smartphone in the dark. What specifically causes the vision loss is using only one eye, the solution is to use both eyes.

Dr Gordon Plant explained, “It’s because it’s taking many minutes to catch up to the other eye that’s adapted to the dark.”

This issue followed two women aged 40 and 22 who complained of temporary blindness lasting approximately 15 minutes. After going through numerous tests, Dr Plant, of London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital, asked what the women were doing when the episodes occurred. They said they were looking at their phones in bed with one eye covered by a pillow. Once they put the phone down they could no longer see.

One of the women worried she was suffering from a stroke when it occurred.

Experts from Moorfields Eye Hospital and members of numerous London Universities have issued warnings, “Smartphones are now used nearly around the clock, and manufacturers are producing screens with increased brightness to offset background ambient luminance and thereby allow easy reading,

“Hence, presentations such as we describe are likely to become more frequent.”


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