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If You Don't Kick This Instagram Habit, Science Says You Could Go Blind

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We knew, one day, technology would catch up to our health, but why did it have to be so soon?!

There's proof checking apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook at night can make you go temporarily blind.

The alarming discovery was recently documented in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It outlines two very similar cases: one of a 22-year-old woman and another of a 40-year-old woman.

Basically, both women went to the doctor complaining of a loss of vision in one eye. The younger one had been struggling to see out of her right eye at night for several months. The other had blurry vision from one eye most mornings that would last around 15 minutes.

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They underwent check-ups and came out with clean bills of health.

So, what was going on?

By digging around their day-to-day routines, specialists at an ophthalmic clinic figured out both women were using their phones in the dark before bed.

The eyes they were complaining about were the ones they used to check their phones, while the others were typically buried into pillows because they were lying on their sides; those eyes had time to adjust to the dark.

When each woman looked away from her phone, the eye used for checking would display features of temporary blindness while it adjusted to the dark.

Part of the study reads,

Although most people view screens binocularly, people frequently use smartphones while lying down, when one eye can be inadvertently covered. 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. Our cases show that detailed history taking and an understanding of retinal physiology can reassure both patient and doctor and can avoid unnecessary anxiety and costly investigations.

There's a very simple solution to this: Turn down the brightness on your phone or, better yet, cut down your nighttime browsing.

Citations: New York magazine