Woman blinded in one eye after playing games for a day

Ms Wu (pictured), from China, is a big fan of mobile video games. She became blinded in the right eye all of sudden on October 2

A woman in China who played a video game on her phone non-stop for a day became blind in one eye all of sudden, according to Chinese state media.

Her doctors claimed that the 21-year-old, known by pseudonym Wu Xiaojing, suffered retinal vessel occlusion, a blockage in the blood vessel of the eye.

The doctors also claimed that Ms Wu’s obsession with video games was the cause of the blindness in her right eye. 

However, experts in the UK said there was no good evidence to suggest Ms Wu’s blindness had been a result of playing phone games.  

According to Huanqiu.com, an affiliation to People’s Daily, Ms Wu works as an accountant in Chang’an Town, southern China’s Guangdong Province. 

Ms Wu was said to have been a ‘big fan’ of mobile games since the beginning of this year and would play it without eating or even sleeping. 

Doctors said Ms Wu's obsession with video games was the cause of her blindness. More and more children and young people in China are getting addicted to internet (file photo)

Doctors said Ms Wu’s obsession with video games was the cause of her blindness. More and more children and young people in China are getting addicted to internet (file photo)

Ms Wu is said to be playing 'King of Glory' (pictured), a hugely popular multi-player video game

Ms Wu is said to be playing ‘King of Glory’ (pictured), a hugely popular multi-player video game

Her favourite game was said to be ‘King of Glory’, a hugely popular multi-player video game billed as the ‘internet heroin’ by Chinese media.


David Allamby, a UK-based eye surgeon and the medical director of London’s Focus Clinic, said a retinal artery occlusion usually occurs when there is some sort of blockage in the retinal artery which supplies blood to the retina. 

Retina is a delicate tissue that lines the back of a person’s eye.

Dr Allamby said without a constant feed of blood and nutrients, a person can get necrosis – the death of tissue – and irreversible cell injury, essentially blindness, possibly in as little as 90 to 100 minutes. 

Developed by Tencent, one of China’s largest internet service providers in 2015, King of Glory is said to have attracted some 50 million people to play at the same time.

Ms Wu was said to be playing King of Glory when she suddenly lost sight in her right eye on October 2. 

It was reported that she had been playing the game for eight hours straight that day. 

It was also reported that after she became addicted to video games, Ms Wu would spend all her time playing on her phone at home. 

She told a reporter: ‘If I don’t work, I would usually get up at around 6am, have breakfast then start playing the game until 4pm. Then I would eat something, then take a nap. After I wake up, I would continue playing until 1am or 2am.

She added: ‘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.’

Young people's obsession with games and internet is a major issue in China (file photo)

Young people’s obsession with games and internet is a major issue in China (file photo)

Doctors are trying to save Ms Wu’s eyesight, according to the report. 

Ms Wu’s doctor said a retinal vessel occlusion was more likely to be found on an elderly patient, but because Ms Wu had tired out her eyes continuously for a long period of time, it was possible for her to have the condition.

However, experts in the UK disagreed with the diagnosis. 

British eye surgeon David Allamby said there is no good evidence to suggest a link between playing mobile phone games for extended periods and increased risk of retinal artery occlusion.

He explained: ‘You don’t get retinal artery occlusion from video-related “severe eye strain”, as is suggested here – it’s most commonly evidence of some form of cardiovascular disease.

‘When the arteries harden with age, pieces of plaque that line the artery can break off and lodge themselves in the retinal artery causing a blockage.’

He added that diabetics are also prone to occlusion. For example, putting direct pressure on the eye for a prolonged period can cause clots.

Dr Allamby argued: ‘The only potential link to video games – and it’s slim – is that sometimes migraines can be a rare cause of retinal artery occlusion. Migraines cause a change in blood flow and can put the retinal artery into spasm, causing a clot.

‘So unless video games are giving you prolonged and persistent migraines, I’d suggest there’s no need to panic while playing them. 


Young people’s obsession with computer games and internet has become a major societal issue in China.  

Chinese internet addicts who spend up to 17 hours online and even wear nappies so they do not have to take toilet breaks are being sent to rehab boot camps to rid them of their dependency.

Internet addiction is considered a clinical disorder in China, with an increasing number of young people choosing to ignore their studies, social lives and family to surf the web or play online games.

Parents who have watched their children’s obsession spiral out of control are willing to fork out thousands of pounds to send them to military style camps, known as ‘digital detox’ camps, where their children spend at least six months learning how to appreciate life beyond their screens.

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