DOCTORS are warning smartphone addicts not to use their phones in bed – as it may trigger a terrifying "eye stroke".

Medics have revealed staring at your electronic device in the dark can cause an eye clot which can result in severe vision loss if not treated immediately.

Using your phone in bed can cause 'eye strokes after man is temporarily blinded', docs warn_1
Using your phone in bed could cause an "eye stroke", doctors are warning

It comes after a man was "temporarily blinded" after constantly staring at his gizmo in the dark.

The patient, identified as Wang, from northwest China, momentarily lost his sight after playing games on his smartphone with the lights off.

Speaking about the frightening incident, he told South China Morning Post: "I was using my right eye to look at my phone, and I could see some words but not others.

"I love playing on my phone, but at night my wife doesn’t want me using it because the screen light is too bright after the lights have been turned off."

Using your phone in bed can cause 'eye strokes after man is temporarily blinded', docs warn_2
Wang momentarily lost his sight after playing games on his smartphone with the lights off

Wang rushed to the doctors where they diagnosed him with a central retinal artery occlusion – also known as an "eye stroke".

The condition is caused by a blockage of the arteries carrying oxygen to the retina, which sends signals to the brain.

Wang’s doctor, Lei Tao, said Wang's temporarily blindness was caused by an "overuse of electronic items," which can lead to "excessive strain on vision."


The occurrence rate is getting higher each year, and there is a trend of younger victims

Doctor Lei Tao

Dr Tao, who says he sees around 20 young sufferers of the condition every month, said: "Blockage of the arteries in the retina is sudden, serious and the primary manifestation of eye disease that leads to blindness.

"We commonly call it an 'eye stroke'.

"The occurrence rate is getting higher each year, and there is a trend of younger victims.

"The rate of permanent blindness is also high, which can seriously affect the patient’s quality of life and contribution to society."

Using your phone in bed can cause 'eye strokes after man is temporarily blinded', docs warn_3
Doctors say the number of people having 'eye strokes' is getting higher each year

He added: "Preventive strategies are very important.

"Work and rest in a regular pattern, avoid staying up late at night and looking at phones, televisions and computers for a long time – these will all make a difference."

Despite this, some medics are saying to take the report with a pinch of salt – as retinal artery occlusion usually only occurs in one per cent of the population.

Dr Gareth Lema told The New York Post that a far more likely culprit for causing Wang's eye condition is "transient smartphone blindness".

Smartphone blindness is a temporary loss of sight in one eye caused by constant phone use in low-light conditions.

A team of eye experts from Moorfields Eye Hospital and several London universities recently published an urgent warning about smartphone blindness in The New England Journal of Medicine.

They described the cases of two women who experienced temporary blindness in one eye.


Smartphone blindness: symptoms and causes

You'll know if you're suffering from this condition if one eye suddenly appears to go 'blind'.

You won't be able to see properly out of this peeper or it may stop working altogether.

The blindness is only temporary and caused by using just one eye to focus on a smartphone screen.

This generally happens when sufferers are lying in bed at night, because the vision from one of their eyes is blocked by the pillow.

The condition should sort itself out within about 15 minutes.

If you're blind for any longer, you should visit a doctor.

It's important to seek medical attention immediately if you fear you are having a stroke, because immediate intervention cuts the risk of suffering serious complications


"When the patients were seen in our clinic, detailed history taking revealed that symptoms occurred only after several minutes of viewing a smartphone screen, in the dark, while lying in bed (before going to sleep in the first case and after waking in the second," the team wrote.

After scratching their heads about what was causing the problem, the docs concluded that the eye peering a smartphone had become "light-adapted while the eye blocked by the pillow was becoming dark-adapted".

"Subsequently, with both eyes uncovered in the dark, the light-adapted eye was perceived to be 'blind'," they added.

The condition is likely to become more and more common due to society's addiction to smartphone.


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The docs added: "Although most people view screens binocularly [with two eyes], 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."


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