If smartphones have made our lives easier, there is a flip side too—they cause vision i mpairment, according a leading laser eye surgeon. Dr. David Allamby has revealed that smartphones have caused a surge in cases of myopia (short-sightedness) among young Britons. Allamby, the founder of Focus Clinics, has reported a 35 percent increase in patients with advancing myopia since the launch of smartphones in 1997, and warns that myopia in young adults could increase by 5O percent within 10 years. According to Allamby, excessive screen . watching at a close proximity keep. the genes that control myopia activated well beyond the age that short-sightedness would historically have stabilized—around the age of 21. This is known as “epigenetics”. Allamby says today’s generatio is most at risk, with children as young as seven being given their first smartphones.