Gaming Binge Just Cost A Woman Her Eyesight In China

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“If I don't work, I usually get up around 6 a.m., have breakfast, and then play until 4 p.m. I would eat something, take a nap, wake up and continue playing until 1 or 2 a.m.”

Video games can be very addictive and if they are played for a prolonged period of time, there can be serious repercussions.

Case in point: A woman in China is facing partial blindness after she played a game on her smartphone for an entire day.

The woman, identified as Wu Xiaojing, 21, was glued to her smartphone for 24 hours as she played “Honor of Kings.” She immediately sensed a problem with the vision of her right eye. After several visits to the doctor, she was diagnosed with retinal artery occlusion (RAO).

Wu admitted that she played the game aggressively for hours without taking any break.  She also said she is a “big fan” of mobile games since the beginning of the year.

“If I don't work, I usually get up around 6 a.m., have breakfast, and then play until 4 p.m. I would eat something, take a nap, wake up and continue playing until 1 or 2 a.m. My parents had warned me that I might go blind,” she said.

Wu further said, “Sometimes, I would lose track of time and wouldn't want to eat. When my parents tell me to eat, I wouldn't want to go.”

She also added that she played the game on Oct. 1, which was a public holiday, for the entire day and suddenly lost vision after she had dinner. That is when she rushed to hospital.

A doctor at Nancheng hospital, where Wu’s diagnoses was made, said it is likely she experienced partial blindness due to excessive use of smartphone.

However, Dr. David Allamby rejected the notion and said there was “slim” chance the blindness was caused due to excessive use of smartphone.  

“You don't get RAO from video-related severe eye strain as is suggested here — it's most commonly evidence of some form of cardiovascular disease. The only potential link — and it's slim — is that sometimes migraines can be a rare cause of RAO,” he said.

According to reports, doctors are now trying to save her eyesight.

Retinal artery occlusion is a disease of the eye where the flow of blood through the central retinal artery is blocked.

The younger generation in China is obsessed with video games and that is a problem the country is trying to deal with. To tackle the problem, Beijing introduced a policy that will prevent new online video games from release in the country.

China has also introduced internet rehabilitation camps where parents send their children to get away from the addiction. However, these camps are unfolding new problems for parents.

Recently, an 18-year-old identified as Li Ao from Anhui province died just two days after he started receiving gaming addiction treatment at a so-called “digital detox” camp.

His parents reportedly tried encouraging Li Ao to set up a business, travel or join the army, but in vain. As a last resort, the concerned parents decided to send him at an internet rehab camp.

Little did they know that their decision would cost them their son's life.

Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Shirley Feng

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