Your gadgets might be making you sick. Here’s how to protect yourself
Technology has come with many positive aspects; it has made communication easier and faster, for one. You can connect with anyone in any part of the world at any time. But just like other good things, too much of it can be a bad thing. Everything in moderation or else you’ll suffer any of the following consequences.
Diagnosis: Cyber Sickness
This is a condition characterised by nausea and dizziness. Think of it as motion sickness as we know it, but this time induced by viewing digital content in motion. Virtual reality has made watching movies, gaming, to name a few, much more immersive and adventurous, but at what price? Virtual reality can cause cybersickness as the body receives conflicting sensory information; you’re seated on a chair in the physical world, and yet you’re in a whole different world in the virtual environment. It is an uncomfortable feeling whose long-term effects are being studied.
Prescription: We know how you love video games, but don’t get lost in a virtual environment for extended periods. Frequent breaks are said to help, er, slay the monster.
Diagnosis: Computer Vision Syndrome
Have you ever experience blurred vision, dry eyes or pain in your neck after hours of working on the computer? Those are some of the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which according to research, affects a good number of people who regularly work on computers for extended periods of time. The human body wasn’t designed to sit for long and was definitely not made for staring at the screen for hours. This explains the fatigue, aches, and eye strain. The good news is, you don’t have to throw away your computer and banish yourself to life in the woods with no power and no tech gadgets.
Prescription: Take regular breaks from your desk or simply pull your eyes away from the computer for twenty seconds, directing them to an object that’s twenty feet away to give them a break. Do this every twenty minutes. Do make sure the screen is not too bright and is set at a correct angle. And blink often so your eyes don’t dry out.
Diagnosis: Sleep Troubles
We know the drill, you’re on your phone right before bedtime, can’t sleep, instinctively reach out for your phone again, scroll the internet, then blame the sleep deprivation on noisy neighbours. Well, they are not the only cause. One of the major causes is in the palm of your hand – your smartphone. Studies show that the artificial light from these gadgets messes with the levels of the hormone that regulates sleep. The result is little and poor sleep quality, both of which have negative effects on physical and mental health.
Prescription: Don’t hold your phone too close to your face, and adjust the brightness level to low. Better yet, don’t use your phone right before bed (experts recommend an hour before bed) making sure that it is switched off , and keep electronics away from the bedroom.