Mon, 04 July 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

Ways your smartphone can wreck your health

Update : 20 Jan 2022, 14:28

If you ask anyone these days to name one thing they can't live without, their cell phone would probably top the list.  But it also come risks to our health which can lead to chronic illness.

We outline the smartphone negatives below.

Eye strain
Extended use of digital devices and exposure to screens can cause digital eye strain. Symptoms can include blurry vision, trouble focusing on one thing, red, tired, or dry eyes, as well as headaches.  Additionally, if you already have poor vision, you may be more susceptible to experiencing computer vision syndrome or CVS.

To lessen the effect screens have on your eyes, don’t use screens as much. When you can’t cut back, make sure you are taking at least a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something far away.

Wrist sprains

Wrist sprains in patients are often a result of cell phone overuse
Carpal tunnel and wrist sprains in patients are often a result of cell phone overuse. From holding the phone for extended periods of time, compressing the carpal tunnel and also causing inflammation of the tendon attachments.

Texting thumb
Text thumb is another common injury seen in patients who spend too much time on their phones. Pain, discomfort, or numbness in the thumb can occur from overuse due to constant texting and typing.

Turn you into an insomniac

Start cutting back on your phone use before bed
Blue light—the artificial light emitted by screened devices—has been found to be disruptive to sleep, according to the Harvard Health Letter. If you want to manage the effect that blue light has on your health, start cutting back on your phone use before bed.

Experts recommend powering down as early as three hours before you plan to switch off the lights, which means it is probably time to head to the library and pick up a few good books.

Neck pain
Cell phone-related neck strain is so common, doctors have even given it it's own name—text neck. "Research shows that for every inch you drop your head forward, you double the load on those muscles," said Dr. Robert Bolash in an article for Cleveland Clinic, where he is a pain specialist. "Looking down at your smartphone, with your chin to your chest, can put about 60 pounds of force on your neck. Stretch and arch your back at least once every 20 minutes. Make an effort not to hunch forward. 

Text and talk while driving

Talking on a smartphone while driving greatly increases the risk of car accidents. jpg

Talking on the phone while driving leads to something called cognitive distraction. Talking on a smartphone while driving greatly increases the risk of car accidents. If you must make or take a phone call while driving, pull over on the side of the road. 

It is also very dangerous to text while driving. Texting while driving distracts you from what's happening on the road. It just takes a few seconds of inattention to lead to an accident.

Health concerns

Mobile phones communicate with base stations using radiofrequency (RF) radiation. If RF radiation is high enough, it has a ‘thermal’ effect, which means it raises body temperature. There are concerns that the low levels of RF radiation emitted by mobile phones could cause health problems such as headaches or brain tumours. 

Germ factor

The average mobile phone user puts their phone in contact with several places where it can pick up germs. The bacteria might remain confined to the skin, or burrow deeper into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves, and lungs. Even if your hands are dirty, then your phone tends to also be very contaminated with the same type of bacteria. People are advised to wash their hands with soap and water. They can also use a hand sanitizer, and importantly, clean their mobile phones often using cloths and wipes that are safe to use on devices.

Smartphones may cause cancer

Mobile phones could have an effect on the brain

Brain tissue damage could be caused by radiation from mobile phones. If you have concerns about the ionizing radiation emitted by cell phones, limit the amount of time you use them and talk on the phone in speaker mode or use a headset.

Problem in your elbow

If you use your phone to communicate verbally instead of via text, you might be spared texting thumb, but you could instead suffer "cell phone elbow," AKA cubital tunnel syndrome. Treatment includes switching the phone to your other arm, using a headset, or better yet, putting the phone down from time to time

Hearing damage

Long-term mobile phone use may result in inner ear damage

Cell phones adiofrequency electromagnetic radiation can damage hearing. Even plugging headphones into your ears and blasting some tunes from your phone is a great way to block out the sounds of traffic on your commute home.

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