Smartphone use leaves woman with impaired vision: Are you being careful?

A 30-year-old woman has been diagnosed with blindness recently in Hyderabad. Here's what smartphone use does to your eyes and what you can do to safeguard yourself against vision impairment.
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Woman diagnosed with vision impairment due to smartphone use. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Arushi Bidhuri Published: 9 Feb 2023, 17:15 pm IST
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How much time do you spend on your smartphones? In the past few decades, phones have come a long way and become important in people’s lives. From capturing the moment in a photo to managing work, it plays a significant role in everyday life. Yes, they are useful, but how much time is too time spent on your phone? What makes things worse is sitting in front of the laptop for about 9-10 hours, then looking at your phone. The harmful effects of smartphones add to the problem. And one example is the woman from Hyderabad who was diagnosed with blindness because of looking at her phone in the dark.

Dr Sudhir Kumar, a neurologist at Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, recently shared a Twitter thread that a 30-year-old was suffering from a condition that could lead to blindness.

A woman diagnosed with vision problems due to smartphone use

A 30-year-old woman named Manju was diagnosed with smartphone vision syndrome (SVS) after using her phone frequently in the dark for almost 1.5 years, shared Dr Kumar in one of the tweets. The doctor listed floaters, bright flashes of light, dark zigzag patterns, and occasionally trouble focusing on or seeing specific objects as the symptoms.

He also added that sometimes she was not able to see anything for several seconds. Further analysis of her history, it was found that the long-term use of devices such as smartphones led to the onset of the disease. However, she was not given any medicine to ease the symptoms, instead, she was advised to reduce the time she spends on her smartphone to tackle the condition.

Also Read: These 5 chronic health issues can affect your eyesight

smartphone use
Smartphone use can lead to vision impairment. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

She followed the advice for a month and saw significant improvement in her condition. “At 1-month review, Manju was absolutely fine. Her vision impairment of 18 months had gone. Now, she had normal eyesight and did not see any floaters or flashes of light. Moreover, her momentary loss of vision at night also stopped,” Dr Kumar shared.

Smartphones can impair your vision

Too much use of smartphones can hamper your eyesight and lead to vision problems. There are several studies available to support the claim. A study published in the Annals of Palliative Medicine found that individuals who use smartphones for a long time were at a higher risk of developing distance vision loss, near vision loss, and ocular surface discomfort.

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Not just for adults, regular use of smartphones for a long in your child can also be dangerous. Several studies, including the one published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, found that smartphones can lead to several vision problems in children as well. Prolonged use of smartphones may raise the risk of ocular symptoms like myopia, asthenopia, and ocular surface disease in children.

smartphone use
Smartphone use can lead to vision problems in kids. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to reduce the use of smartphones and avoid vision problems?

In the same Twitter thread, Dr Kumar shared a few tips for people who spend too much time on their smartphones.

  • Do not look at digital screens for too long to avoid severe and disabling vision-related symptoms.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule while using digital screens. It means taking a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away from you every 20 minutes.

So, the best way to avoid developing vision problems such as these is to limit the use of smartphones. You should also set a time limit for use, especially for children, to help reduce ocular and visual problems.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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