Smartphone blindness can occur when a person has been using their mobile phone while lying in bed. When one eye is prevented from seeing the screen by the pillow and the other eye is exposed to the bright screen, a temporary loss of pigment occurs in the light-adapted eye. When both eyes are then uncovered in the dark, the light-adapted eye is unable to see properly for up to 30 minutes. This new phenomena is causing some doctors to mistakenly think their patients have had a mini-stroke.
A study on thousands of teens in Southern California, USA, found that adolescents who stay up late are more likely to use alcohol and marijuana, further reinforcing the link between sleep disorders or insomnia and an increased risk of substance abuse.
While e-cigarettes are being promoted as safer alternatives to tobacco, they do not reduce the risk of oral disease. Studies by researchers from the University of California, USA, have found that toxic substances in e-cigarette vapours caused the death of 85 per cent of laboratory-grown oral skin cells.
Finnish studies have found that smoking in pregnancy carries a 38 per cent increased risk of having a child affected by schizophrenia. Children born to mothers with an underactive thyroid (caused by iodine deficiency) are also at increased risk for developing the mental illness.
With their amazing sense of smell, dogs are helping to detect abnormally low blood sugars in the breath of people with Type 1 diabetes. According to the charity Paws for Diabetics Inc, which trains diabetic alert dogs, they give their owners advance warning of an impending hypoglycaemic episode, allowing prompt treatment and averting a coma in the making.