iBlind? Smartphones make you shortsighted, doctor claims

A U.K. eye surgeon insists that the incidences of advanced myopia have increased 35 percent since the launch of the smartphone.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
Squinting much? Sexy Girls With Glasses/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Have you increased your squinting over the last few years?

Have you noticed your face moving closer and closer to screens and those paper things called books?

This mightn't be old age, you know. This might merely be your iPhone or Galaxy.

Please move your head a reasonable distance toward the screen and focus on the words of laser eye surgeon David Allamby.

He knows a thing or two about eyes, and he wants you to know that your smartphone is ruining them.

As the Daily Mail reports, his evidence for this is a 35 percent increase in the number of shortsighted Brits since the first smartphone entered our pockets.

It seems that people hold their screens much closer to their faces than they used to with books and newspapers. This, according to Allamby, ensures that myopia genes remain active far longer than in previous times.

Where once shortsightedness might have stabilized around the age of 21, now people of far more advanced ages are developing it.

He told the Mail: "If things continue as they are, I predict that 40 to 50 percent of 30-year-olds could have myopia by 2033 as a result of smartphones and lifestyles in front of screens -- an epidemic we call screen sightedness."

Screens place a greater demand on the eyes. Moreover, what's clear is that people are staring into them for previously unthinkable hours at a time.

Whole lives are being lived through screens and in them. Human bodies seem unprepared for this entirely radical shift.

Some might be depressed by this notion. On the other hand, it's excellent news for Google Glass.

Once the company manages to create prescription lens versions of its famed nerdification tool (latest news: there's a hope to have them by the end of the year, but no guarantee), we'll all grow up with a screen right next to our eyeballs.

We won't need to see beyond the ends of our noses unless we really, really want to. And when we need to go somewhere, our cars will drive us there without us having to see anything at all.

It's all rather exciting.