I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m on my phone way too much. While I mostly leave it alone while working during the day, at night, I’m constantly picking it up to mindlessly scroll through social media, play Candy Crush (yes, I’m aware I’m probably the only person still playing it), or to check email. It’s a real problem — and it certainly became one for a Chinese woman who recently went temporarily blind from being on her phone too much.
Yes, it can happen. While admittedly rare, the woman in question lost sight in one eye due to a burst blood vessel, or Valsalva retinopathy, which was a direct result of being on her phone way too much. Excessive eye strain is serious business.
How much time is too much time on your phone? “The patient stayed up all night playing on her mobile phone,” Dr. Qiu Wangjian, the woman’s doctor at Songgang People’s Hospital, told AsiaWire, as per Fox News. “The following morning, as soon as she woke up, she picked up her phone and started to use it again. About five minutes later, the patient discovered that she was unable to see out of her left eye. She couldn’t see anything.” Yikes!
The patches of blood are what caused her blindness. The burst blood vessel meant the blood spread out over her retina, which was blocking her ability to see. The problem may have fixed itself eventually, but it was decided that treating the patient was a better route.
She had to have laser surgery. Lasers were used to create a small hole in the retina through which the leaked blood could drain out, allowing her to see again. “It was important that we treated her quickly in order for her to not suffer any long-term effects,” Wangjian said.
Seriously, we need to put down our phones. It may seem like this is an extreme case, and it probably is, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In fact, I’d say it’s going to become less rare as time goes on and our lives are happening more and more on our mobile devices. It’s important to remember to put them down and to give our eyes – and our brains – a bit of a break.
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