Taiwanese woman develops hole in her retina after years of using smartphone outdoors

Prolonged exposure to blue light emitted by smartphones combined with the sun's ultraviolet light can have serious consequences for one's eyesight

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(Image from Unsplash user Ben White)

(Image from Unsplash user Ben White)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A young woman in Taiwan is being reported as the first case in the world of having her eye’s retina become swollen, shifting it out of its natural position, leaving a tiny hollow cavity in the eye, all as a result of prolonged smart phone use outdoors.

A doctor of Ophthalmology at Fooyin Universitiy in Kaohsiung, Hong Chi-ting (洪啟庭) has reportedly been monitoring a female patient surnamed Huang (黃), aged 27, who is experiencing the affliction.

After first experiencing a distortion and a kind of glare in the vision of her right eye, Huang went to the eye doctor to determine what the problem was in February.

It was discovered that an edema build-up had developed in the right eye’s retinal cell layer, which had created a significant cavity, and partial detachment of the retina.

Liberty Times reports that Huang regularly used her cellphone while moving around outdoors because of her line of work. Dr. Hong believes that it is the combination of the blue-light emitted from the cellphone, and the ultraviolet light emitted by the sun that led to Huang’s condition.

Generally, a moderate amount of blue light is healthy for the eye, however, prolonged exposure to increased levels emitted from cellphones, especially in dark environments, can be very unhealthy for the eyes.

On the other hand, focusing one’s eyes on the blue light emitted from smart phone screens in an environment flooded with bright ultraviolet light from the sun can have devastating effects on one’s eyes at the cellular level.

Huang reportedly spent three years at the job, regularly staring at her cell-phone four to five hours a day outdoors in the sun.

When she first came into the hospital her right eye’s vision had diminished to half that of her left eye. After three months of treatment, including various medicinal supplements and minor surgical procedures to clear the edema, eyesight in her right eye has improved to about 90 percent of its original vision capability.

Huang is now also using a special film on her smart phone screen used to block out excessive levels of blue light.

Dr. Hong warns those working in the field of transportation, or other professions that keep them outdoors but engaged with blue light emitting technologies, need to be careful, and consider purchasing such protective films for their devices.

Disturbingly, Hong has received two other patients in the past two months exhibiting symptoms similar to Huang’s, reports Liberty Times.

Anyone who remains outside more than three hours at a time is advised to wear sunglasses. Drinking teas of lycium chinense, or chrysanthemum flowers can also reportedly strengthen eye tissue by increasing anti-oxidant levels in the body.