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Smart phones make you short sighted, Brit eye surgeon claims

The increase in myopia in young people is down to the rise of smart phones, one British eye surgeon claims.

Your smart phone could be harming your eyesight, according to one laser eye surgeon.

David Allamby, founder of Focus Clinics, claims short sightedness in young people has increased by 35 per cent since 1997, and it's all down to how long we spend staring at a screen. The problem could increase by 50 per cent in the next 10 years, according to Allamby, the Daily Mail reports. He's even dubbed it 'screen sightedness'.

According to Allamby, half of us Brits own smart phones, and we spend on average two hours a day using them. Add in time spent in front of computers and the TV, and that's a lot of strain on the old peepers.

His research also says we hold our phones closer to our faces than we do newspapers and books -- 30cm away, compared to 40cm for more traditional reading material. Though I'd be interested to see how that squares with the rise of bigger-screened phones. Myopia (short sightedness) used to stop developing in a person's early 20s, but now continues through into their 30s and 40s, Allamby claims.

The problem is only going to get worse, according to Allamby. He said: "If things continue as they are, I predict that 40 to 50 per cent of 30-year-olds could have myopia by 2033 as a result of smart phones and lifestyles in front of screens."

His advice? Get outside more, as sunshine reduces the progression of myopia. And don't give your offspring a phone at too young an age, to lessen the effects.

He predicts that by next year, 12-17-year-olds will be the second-biggest market for smart phones after 18-24-year-olds.

What do you reckon? A genuine worry, or are these kinds of health scares a lot of hot air? Let me know what you think in the comments below, or over on our clearly legible Facebook page.