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Beware of Your Mobile in the Sun!

Most people know that it is dangerous to look directly at the sun. Solar maculopathy is a well known cause of blindness that usually occurs in patients that have gazed directly the sun. However, looking at your mobile phone for a prolonged period on a sunny day can be just as dangerous to your eyes.

woman using mobile phone on the beach

Two cases have been reported recently where patients have suffered serious retinal damage from the sun's powerful reflection while looking at the screens of their mobile devices.

In the first case, a 30 year old man developed distortion of images, a central blind spot and decreased visual acuity two days after reading for four hours with his tablet computer on the terrace of a ski resort.

In the second case, a 20 year old woman suffered a loss of vision in both eyes; reduced visual acuity and missing spots in her vision after being at the beach the day before and reading with her mobile phone for 3 hours.

Neither patient looked directly at the sun at any time. In both cases, eye scans of the two patients confirmed they both had solar maculopathy.

Within two months of the incident, the male patient had made a full recovery. For the female patient, some symptoms improved after five months. However, she was left with the long term scotoma in her right eye - a blind spot that occurs in the centre of someone's vision.

So the message is clear, sunlight reflection from a mobile's screen needs to be considered as a possible danger.

If you must use a mobile to read in sunlight you should use sunglasses with an appropriate and effective UV filter particularly in environments where solar radiation is made more intense such as on the beach or near water.

We recommend our Maui Jim range of sunspecs which offer a high degree of protection.

Contact us if you have any queries.


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