Microwave - and other forms of electromagnetic - radiation are major (but conveniently disregarded, ignored, and overlooked) factors in many modern unexplained disease states. Insomnia, anxiety, vision problems, swollen lymph, headaches, extreme thirst, night sweats, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, muscle pain, weakened immunity, allergies, heart problems, and intestinal disturbances are all symptoms found in a disease process the Russians described in the 70's as Microwave Sickness.
Friday, August 08, 2014
Jury still out on use of mobile
Jury still out on use of mobile
Psychiatrist C J John says mobile phones have made a sea change on the domestic front.
Kochi: Name the most ubiquitous device in modern life, not even a child will doubt it’s the MOBILE PHONE. It’s there in everyone hands, from the casual worker to the corporate CEO to the minister. It defies poverty indices. It’s a passion with many, who keep on changing sets and have more than one at a time.
The increase in the number of mobile phones has gone up in tandem with the higher usage time. Doctors warn against its continuous use but most people can’t give it up altogether or reduce usage time for different compelling reasons. Are we in the fateful grip of the indispensable communication device as if we were preordained to it? DC talks to experts.
“There are reports of several unspecific symptoms being felt during and after using mobiles, ranging from burning and tingling sensations in the skin of the head and extremities, fatigue, sleep disturbances, dizziness, loss of mental attention, slow reaction time, memory loss, headache, tachycardia (heart palpitations) and disturbances to the digestive system. All of these symptoms are also attributed to stress. Current research cannot pinpoint these symptoms to the direct effect of cell phone use/abuse. Mobile phone generates heat but blood circulating in the brain is capable of disposing of excess heat by increasing local blood flow. However, due to lack of blood supply, the cornea of the eye does not have this temperature regulation mechanism,” says Dr Arun Oommen, consultant neurosurgeon, in Kochi.
A number of studies have established the relationship between mobile phone use and reduced sperm count and sperm quality but have cautioned on the need of further research. Some degree of hearing defect has been noted in excessive users. In 2011, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified mobile phone radiation as Group 2B - possibly carcinogenic. That means that there “could be some risk” of carcinogenicity and so additional research into the long-term and heavy use of mobile phones was needed.
“Tumors are more likely to occur on the side of the head that the cell handset is used. One hour of cell phone use a day may increase tumor risk after 10 years or more,” said Dr Oommen, who added that all these needed to be proved with further research and studies.
“We lack concrete evidence through research to establish it adverse effect. What we have are animal experiments to suggest that holding a mobile phone switched on close to the ear for a long time leads to a tumour. Human experiments are not possible on this score as they are unethical. The real evidence will be out if and when it manifests in the generation that uses mobile phones now. In fact no evidence is on record now as in the case of X-Ray machines. What I can say is that mobile use is safe when the device is placed on the table and connected to the ear through wire. Anyway overuse of mobile is a strict No No,” says cancer physician V P Gangadharan.
“When mobile phones are used very close to some medical devices (including pacemakers, implantable defibrillator and certain hearing aids) there is the possibility of their interfering with procedures. The risk is much reduced with 3G phones and newer equipment,” says Dr Oommen. Excess mobile use is associated with numerous psychological problems. It’s been reported that Jennie Carroll, a technology researcher in Melbourne, identified four distinct disorders — textaphrenia, textiety, post-traumatic text disorder and binge texting- among teens.
Textaphrenia is thinking a message had arrived when it hadn't, while textiety is the anxious feeling of not receiving or sending text messages. With textaphrenia and textiety there's a feeling no one loves me, no one has contacted me, says a report. Post-traumatic stress disorder involved physical and mental injuries from texting, like walking into things while texting and even crossing a road without looking. There are reports from Japan of repetitive thumb syndrome- thumbs growing because of texting, leading to monster thumbs.
Binge texting is teens sending multiple texts to feel good about themselves.
Psychiatrist C J John says mobile phones have made a sea change on the domestic front. “A wife comes to my clinic complaining about her husband, who has no time for her but is always hooked to the mobile phone. It has played havoc with interpersonal communication within the family. From a talking device the mobile phone has become a multi-media tool to keep people networked. A lot of abuse is happening, victims of which finally seek psychiatric help. Selfies are another area where people turn narcissists and land in freak accidents. Often the public lacks in mobile phone etiquette,” said Dr C J John.