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Hope There’s a Groupon for Bifocals Because Smartphones Are Making Us All Blind

"Screen sightedness" just made us cry.
Sad because she's blind. (Photo: Parenting UK)

Sad because she’s blind. (Photo: Parenting UK)

Add “screen sightedness” to the list of conditions to use when you’re seeking a personal day. The Daily Mail reports reports that all that time young people are spending staring at their phones’ screens is ruining their vision for life.

A British eye surgeon said that the number of people suffering from myopia (also known as short sightedness) has jumped 35 percent since 1997, right around when cell phones started getting popular. And our fragile eyes are only going to get worse: the problem is forecasted to increase 50 percent in the next ten years.

The myopia epidemic is two pronged: First, because we’re all holding our phones closer to our faces than necessary, with the average being just an inch and a half. We normally hold gross books and smelly newspapers three inches from our face. Secondly, the “excessive screen watching” at that proximity keeps the myopia gene activated past 21 years old, when it normally stops.

David Allamby, the optometrist-turned-scaremonger, offers some helpful tips so we’re not completely blind by 30:

‘People need to ensure they limit screen time wherever possible even by going outside without their phone for a period of time each day (getting out into the sunshine has been shown to reduce the progression of short-sight), and also seriously consider the age at which they give their children a smartphone.’

You ruined our game of Dots for that?

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com