Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2016 Contents A24
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LONDON---Looking at your smartphone while lying
in bed at night could wreak havoc on your vision.
Two women went temporarily blind from checking
their phones in the dark, say doctors who are alerting
others to the phenomenon.
The solution---make sure to use both eyes when
looking at your smartphone screen in the dark.
In last week Thursday s New England Journal of
Medicine, doctors detailed the cases of the two
women, ages 22 and 40, who experienced "transient
smartphone blindness" for months. The women
complained of recurring episodes of temporary vision
loss for up to 15 minutes. Minutes after walking into
an eye specialist s office, the mystery was solved.
Dr Gordon Plant, of Moorfields Eye Hospital in
London, explained that both women typically looked
at their smartphones with only one eye while resting
on their side in bed in the dark---their other eye was
covered by the pillow.
"So you have one eye adapted to the light because
The US Supreme Court on Monday struck down
one of the nation s toughest restrictions on abortion,
a Texas law that women s groups said would have
forced more than three-quarters of the state s clinics
to shut down. The decision was 5--3.
Passed in 2013, the law said clinics providing abor-
tion services must meet the same building standards
as ambulatory surgical centres. And it required doctors
performing abortions to have admitting privileges at
Since the law was passed, the number of clinics
providing abortion services in Texas dropped to 19
from 42. Opponents said that number would fall to
ten if the Supreme Court upheld the law.
The Center for Reproductive Rights called the law
"an absolute sham," arguing that abortion patients
rarely require hospitalisation and that many patients
simply take two pills.
Justice Stephen Breyer in writing the majority
opinion said "neither of these provisions offers medical
benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access
that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle
in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion,
each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access,
and each violates the Federal Constitution."
Breyer was joined in the majority by Justices Ruth
Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Anthony M
Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayor. Chief Justice John G
Roberts Jr, Samuel A Alito Jr and Clarence Thomas
The US court s decision will affect similar laws in
twelve other US states, some now on hold because
of court challenges. The restrictions in Texas rep-
resented a new front in efforts to restrict abortion
by focusing on protecting the health and safety of
the mother rather than the life of the fetus.
At the heart of the case was the standard for assess-
ing abortion limits first announced by the Supreme
Court in 1992. State laws cannot create an "undue
burden" on a woman s constitutional right to ter-
minate her pregnancy before the fetus attains viability,
it said then. A law imposes such a burden, the court
said in the case of Planned Parenthood v Casey, if
its "purpose or effect is to place substantial obstacles
in the path" of a woman seeking to exercise that
right. (NBC News)
Temporary blindness tied
to smartphone use in dark
it s looking at the phone and the other eye is
adapted to the dark," he said.
When they put their phone down, they
couldn t see with the phone eye.
Dr Rahul Khurana, a spokesman for the
American Academy of Ophthalmology, called
it a fascinating hypothesis but said two cases
weren t enough to prove that one-eyed smart-
phone use in the dark caused the problem. He
also doubted whether many users would expe-
rience the phenomenon. (Seattle Times)
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
in the dark.
US Supreme Court
strikes down strict
Texas abortion law
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