Is gaming a passion for you? Well, its time to buckle up and stay cautious as a new research shows that intense gaming can land you with arrhythmia. We still live in an era where gifting children with PlayStation and smartphones are happening at full swing as a reward/recognition for their academic performance or simply as a gesture of encouragement too. Ironically, parents who must be the No.1 individuals to motivate kids to go out and play curb the very same by spoiling them with such gifts. Later on, they are the same ones who also blame the society rather than correcting their own lifestyle for all the spikes in obesity and overweight rates in their children. Worse, during weekends we take them to fun zones and play areas that contain exclusive video games that become an addiction to adults too in course of time.
Super Mario and Pac Man are irreplaceable but now the gaming industry is even more inclined to develop more violent, thrilling and sadistic games that ruin the innocent minds of kids, adolescents and adults as well. Mortal combat, Game of Thrones and few others are the favorite of most of us but there are few other video games that guarantee heart-stopping action in the literal sense too! Does the idea of suffering from heart-related problems due to playing video games bother you? It should and it would. Though the idea sounds absolutely crazy and impractical there seem to be cases of young kids hit by irregularities in heartbeat popping up everywhere around the world that it does make each of us think twice before picking up on a game CD on our visit to the shop next time!
A letter published in the reputed ‘New England Journal of Medicine’ brought into limelight the pathetic situation of three boys aged between 10 and 15 years who lost consciousness while being engrossed in playing a war video game. Its generally observed that kids who play such games are greatly excited, their heart rates are up and adrenaline levels increase tremendously in the body. If a child suffers from any underlying heart problem this can cause the heartbeat to become irregular (beating too quickly or slowly) resulting in a condition known as arrhythmia. The condition is called as tachycardia when the heart beats faster than normal and according to experts, each of these kids suffered from ventricular tachycardia as they had extremely severe heart abnormalities due to the structure/function of the heart muscle. Such abnormalities can cause a blackout in the concerned person when he/she is at the pinnacle of the game. Its just like situations where some people fall down during an intense sports match or even in the middle of an interview. They cannot be blamed and it is the action of their abnormality in heart structure which is further triggered by extreme stress/exertion increasing the risk of sudden cardiac death.
Such blackouts in the middle of a video game are serious indications which require timely intervention. It’s not exaggeration when people normally comment that a person suffered from a heart attack on hearing the demise of a beloved one or was so frightened that it led to sudden death of the individual. Exertion is a very bad phenomenon that can change a person’s life in and out. In the case of the three boys who collapsed playing video games the first boy (10 years old) suffered from a genetic disorder that interrupted the electrical conduction in his heart, the second boy (11 years old) had a massive heart palpitation and the third boy (15 years old) had undergone surgery for a heart defect that was diagnosed when he was an infant.
Fainting is sometimes seen in kids, especially when they stand under the hot sunshine during assembly, play out regardless of the heat or skip their meals. But any fainting that occurs due to excitement or stress is not normal and is a sign of danger. It needs to be immediately addressed as they mostly point towards some underlying heart condition.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.