Woman partially blinded after all-day mobile gaming session

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Most people are aware of the social problems that come from staring at a smartphone for hours, but could the physical damage be even worse? That's the question being asked in China, where a woman has gone partially blind after spending an entire day playing a popular mobile game.

21-year-old Wu Xiaojing had been enjoying multiplayer title Honor of Kings, also known as King of Glory, for a number of hours without taking a break when she lost the vision in her right eye. After arriving at hospital, she was diagnosed with Retinal Artery Occlusion (RAO), a condition caused by an obstruction of the blood flow to the retina from the retinal artery.

Wu is one of the 163 million+ people in China who regularly play Honor of Kings. "If I don't work, I usually get up around 6am, have breakfast, then play until 4pm," she said, "I would eat something, take a nap, wake up and continue playing until 1 or 2am."

The finance worker spent the whole of October 1, a Chinese holiday, playing the game. She lost sight in her eye and went to hospital sometime after dinner.

Whether the gaming session was the cause of her RAO is still being debated. A specialist from the hospital that diagnosed the condition said her excessive gaming likely brought it on, but others believe it is the sign of an underlying condition, such as cardiovascular disease. Dr. David Allamby, an eye surgeon and the medical director of London's Focus Clinic, told the Daily Mail there’s a slight possibility that staring at the phone for long periods gave Wu a migraine, which can in rare cases bring on RAO.

What isn’t in doubt is that staring at a smartphone screen in bed at night can cause temporarily blindness. The issue arises when people are lying on their side and use just one eye to look at the screen. “You have one eye adapted to the light because it’s looking at the phone and the other eye is adapted to the dark,” explained Dr. Gordon Plant of Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in London. When they stop looking at the phone, they're blind in one eye as “it’s taking many minutes to catch up to the other eye that’s adapted to the dark.”

Back in July, Tencent announced it would be limiting the amount of time younger players could spend on Glory of Kings, which is dubbed 'internet heroin' by Chinese media. It certainly lives up to its addictive nature, judging from the fact Wu was still holding her smartphone when pictured lying in the hospital bed.

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TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
Only needed to see the headline to know this happened somewhere in one of the Asian countries. Seems like every month we hear of some guy dropping dead in one of their internet cafe's after binging for 3 straight days on some computer game with no food or sleep. Those folks are nuts when it comes to binge gaming.
 
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jizzyburnizzy

TS Enthusiast
I don't understand how people can game for so long. About 10 years ago I played WoW and after 3-4 hours of gaming I had to take a break for a few hours from just being stiff from sitting and my eyes hurting from staring at the screen for so long.
How do they even concentrate for those long periods?
 

mcborge

TS Guru
Looks like every one is attempting to make mobile screens the culprit.. if you are going to blame an external factor then she could have easily been blinded by reading a book with small text or watching a s small tv. It's pretty obvious that she has an underlying condition but you can't create a sensationalist story from an underlying condition can you.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
So ..... was it the phone, the software, or was it that cheap sterno she was drinking at the same time ?!?!?!?!
 
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amghwk

TS Guru
Isolated case, but it's a possibility, no matter how small. Must be really unlucky.

Anyway too much of something is never good.
 
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TheBigT42

TS Guru
False misleading title...
"Woman partially blinded after all-day mobile gaming session"
A truthfull titlte would be "Woman partially blinded possibly after all-day mobile gaming session"

"she was diagnosed with Retinal Artery Occlusion (RAO), a condition caused by an obstruction of the blood flow to the retina from the retinal artery."

This would have appended if had not played all day.
 

Blue Rose

TS Rookie
This woman needs treating for depression. Anyone spending that long pursuing escapism can't be happy with their life.
 

James00007

TS Booster
Only needed to see the headline to know this happened somewhere in one of the Asian countries. Seems like every month we hear of some guy dropping dead in one of their internet cafe's after binging for 3 straight days on some computer game with no food or sleep. Those folks are nuts when it comes to binge gaming.
Yea nuts. Why can't they be normal and have people die of drink related causes every month like in western cultures.
 
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lostinlodos

TS Booster
I don't understand how people can game for so long. About 10 years ago I played WoW and after 3-4 hours of gaming I had to take a break for a few hours from just being stiff from sitting and my eyes hurting from staring at the screen for so long.
How do they even concentrate for those long periods?
Endorphins.
Exactly. First game that hooked me was devil may cry and I played it straight through nonstop. Think it was two or three days. Aside from bathroom breaks it truely was a non stop session
 

JW0914

TS Member
Smartphone screens do not cause Retinal Artery Occlusions... there is no difference in a smartphone screen as compared to a computer monitor or TV, other than it's smaller and may be held closer to the eye (though PC gamers likely sit closer to monitors than a user to a smartphone screen).
 
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