Sat, Jun 22, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Excessive smartphone use damages eyesight
瞎 玩手機過頭 三高中生傷眼

A boy plays with a cellphone at Kinmen Airport in Kinmen County on Aug. 31, 2011.

Photo: Wu Cheng-ting, Liberty Times

Three senior-high school students went to Hsinchu Cathay General Hospital’s Department of Ophthalmology last week for eye problems brought on by excessive use of smartphones. The intense light shining directly on the macula had caused internal bleeding and blurry vision, leaving them unable to see what they were looking at. Their vision was rehabilitated after receiving emergency treatment. The doctor who treated them urges young people not to use mobile devices excessively so as to avoid doing irreversible damage to their eyes.

Chen Ying-shan, head of the Department of Ophthalmology at Hsinchu Cathay General Hospital, said that two high school girls came in last week saying that their vision was slanted and distorted and that they could not see properly. Their parents had rushed them to the hospital, and the girls cried because they were anxious about not being able to read their books to study for final exams. After having an eye examination it was found that their visual acuity (VA), or clarity of vision, was only around 20/65 (0.30). Another patient, a high school boy, also had a similar situation, but his visual acuity had fallen to 20/100 (0.20)

Chen says that light does not penetrate the center of the eye when people watch television or look at computer screens, but that when sliding your finger across a smartphone the images and small font put added stress on the eyes, and light directly hitting the macula creates a burning effect when looking at the screen at such close proximity and directly the whole time. When this burning effect occurs for an extended period of time it causes scabbing in the fundus of the eye, and the capillaries in the eye burst once the scabs fall off, causing one’s vision to become impaired, and in severe cases leads to blindness.


1. irreversible adj.

難以挽救的;不能翻轉的 (nan2 yi3 wan3 jiu4 de5; bu4 neng2 fan1 zhuan3 de5)

例: Change is one of history’s irreversible constants.


2. anxious adj.

焦慮的 (jiao1 lu4 de5)

例: He’s really anxious about the future.


3. blindness n.

失明 (shi1 ming2)

例: Would Beethoven have written the same music if he had suffered blindness instead of being deaf?


You should never use your smartphone for more than 20 minutes at a time, Chen says, adding that it is best if you only look at it for a moment and then turn it off. An appropriate distance of more than 15 to 20cm should be kept from your cellphone, and people should never watch movies on their smartphones, he says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)






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