New Delhi: Eight-year-old Ritesh Walia peers through his spectacles at Hercules saving a lost princess, his latest video game. After five hours with Hercules, he switches to Angry Birds, and then to Pokemon.Ritesh is not alone in his addiction to video games. With increasing access to computers, smart phones, 3D television, ipads and numerous other gadgets, childhood myopia (near-sightedness) has become a huge risk for urban children, say experts.Optometrists say playing video games for long hours can cause problems such as headaches, blurry vision and discomfort in the eyes. Children up to 15 years old are susceptible."There has been a significant rise of youngsters with poor vision in the last two years. The number of patients has almost doubled, especially in the age group of four to 10," Tyag Murti Sharma, eye specialist, Medfort Hospitals, said."While digital eye strain is commonly regarded as an adult condition, children are suffering too. Several children spend over one-and-half hours at a stretch on SMS each day, it`s no wonder they`re straining their eyes. Squinting, rubbing of the eyes and complaints of back, neck or headache are all common among children addicted to gadgets," Anita Sethi, eye specialist, Nova Specialty Surgery, said.
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