[FACT OR FAKE #57] Did Late-Night Texting Cause Some Guy’s Retina To Detach?

A 26-year-old Chinese man was taken to the hospital after suffering a detached retina, which doctors claim was the result of spending hours texting his girlfriend in the dark on the app WeChat.

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Last week, a story spread quickly outside of China, where it was first reported by the English-Language WantChina Times that a Chinese man suffered detached retina after hours texting his girlfriend in the dark

Screenshot of WantChina Times' report

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It was then picked up by other websites, from major tech sites like CNET to news outlets all over the world

Screenshot of CNET's report

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The reports said that the 26-year-old, from the city of Qingdao in Shandong Province, China, had spent hours texting his girlfriend, both at work and at night in bed

When he began to experience sudden flashes in the corner of his eye, he went to the doctor, who promptly diagnosed him with retinal detachment. The man had to have emergency eye surgery to restore his vision.

While retinal detachment is usually a common problem among the elderly, the condition has been increasingly becoming more prevalent among young people thanks to excessive cellphone use, eye expert Yu Bin told the Want China Times.

So, did late-night texting really cause this guy retinal detachment? How much of it is FACT or FAKE?

A retina becoming detached.

Image via CNET

FAKE: Late-night texting did not cause the guy’s retina to detach

A New York ophthalmologist told the Daily Dot that the young man’s condition probably wasn't caused by late-night texting.

“There's no proof that most devices we use, like computers and smartphones, cause damage to the retina,” he told me, adding that the man might have had an underlying condition that caused his symptoms.

Although there are a number of conditions that are potentially triggered by excessive cellphone use, retina detachment "is not on the list"

Texting while driving might not be the best idea … but it won’t cause your retina to detach, at least

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While numerous research studies have been devoted to the link between eye disorders and excessive cellphone use, Guillory says we don't really know enough about it to say for sure.

But we do know that smartphone users are vulnerable to computer vision syndrome, which can result in blurred vision or permanent nearsightedness. So the next time you're texting your girlfriend panda emojis at 3am, it's probably a good idea to put down the phone just to be safe.

One of the main problems with the 24/7, fast-paced news cycle is that, there is so much fake stuff on the Internet, yet no one does any fact-checking anymore

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We at SAYS encourage you to verify information before you forward stories that are fake or seem suspicious. Here are some other FACT OR FAKE related stories:

PS: We debunk fake stuff every Sunday. You can help us keep the Internet slightly fake-free by sending us what you think is fake/hoax. E-mail [email protected]

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