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Computer games can cause eye diseases

Children who regularly sit in front of the computer are more likely to become short sighted. Günther Grabner, head of the ophthalmic clinic in Salzburg warns of consequences such as damages to the retina.

Children’s eyes are just developing, and if they regularly sit in front of the computer for hours, their eyes will become short sighted.

Mr Grabner warns that children will permanently see worse at a long distance: "In the worst case scenario they will suffer from a high degree myopia, which means that they will become extremely short sighted. This is not a typical myopia school students have, which can be improved with glasses easily. High degree myopias involve the danger of problems with the retina. The retina becomes very thin and can rip apart."

Many children from South Asian countries suffer from eye diseases. On one hand, they are genetically more likely to become short sighted than Central Europeans said Mr Grabner.

"I can imagine that the children are under high pressure in school. They need to study for eight to ten hours per day and this stimulates the eye to work at a short distance".

The scientist therefore appeals to parents in Austria to tell their children to play outside more often instead of playing computer games the whole time.

"If a child spends two hours per day outside, the risk of becoming short sighted is reduced by 50 percent. In a nutshell, I advise to play more football instead of Gameboy", Mr Grabner said.

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