A cautionary tale for late-night texters: A 26-year-old man in China’s eastern China’s Shandong province suffered a detached retina after texting his girlfriend in the dark for hours using messaging app WeChat, reports CNET.
The man underwent emergency surgery when he began suffering from sudden flashes of light and discovered that the retina in his left eye had become detached.
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina, a layer of tissue surrounding the surface of the eye, becomes detached. When it happens, it needs to be repaired quickly.
The diagnosis is strange because detached retinas are more commonly found in the elderly, or in those whose eyes have already deteriorated significantly.
Eye expert Yu Bin told WantChinaTimes that although this is an extreme case, people using smartphones for extended periods of time often experience dry eyes or contract conjunctivitis (pink eye) and keratitis (corneal inflammation).
Though retinal detachment is more common among older people, the average age of patients has been getting lower thanks to excessive cell phone use, Yu added.