Living in the modern digital world has benefits but along with the benefits of computer and mobile technology, we are also acquiring permanent health problems. Just like Air borne and Water borne diseases, computer and mobile phone related illness is also increasing. Actually, the term computer borne illness is not in use , but it is time to introduce this terminology in medical science because of the increased cases of computer related illness. Computer vision syndrome, Text neck, Mouse syndrome, Work fatigue etc are some forms of illness found in young people due the over use of computers.
People of all age groups especially the young people spend lot of time in front of the computer and hand held devices like mobile phone, tablets, PDA, etc. The result is the loss of good health in the young age. Some health problems related to computer over use are:
1. Computer vision syndrome
Human eye is designed and adapted to receive natural lights like sunlight, light from fire etc . Incandescent bulb or Yellow LED is more pleasing to eye than CFL and White LED because the light from these sources is direct light and light from CFL and White LED is secondary light emitted by the phosphor. But we are forced to perceive artificial light from the computer monitor, TV, CFL etc. These emit secondary light from the phosphor coated surface by the irradiation of electrons. If you use a CRT based computer for many hours, some ill effects like eyestrain and fatigue may develop which is known as Computer Vision Syndrome. This is mainly due to pulsed electromagnetic radiation and artificial light from the monitor.
The CRT monitor uses fast beam of electrons that generates pulsed electromagnetic radiation carrying energy. At close range, this energy disturbs the metabolism and electrical activities of living cells. Artificial fluorescent light from the monitor is the form of fractioned light which leaves out many segments of the spectral range. Flickering of the screen is also dangerous since the flickering rate is higher than the‘Flicker-Fusion’ rate of the human eye.
CVS is also caused due to bad contrast or excessively or poorly illuminated screen. Background illumination, posture, positioning of the monitor, ocular conditions like dry eyes and uncorrected refractive errors etc, increases the risk of CVS. Close watching reduces the muscle movements of the eyes and causes strain and fatigue. Symptoms of CVS include eyestrain, blurred or double vision, headaches, red or irritated eyes, and color perception changes. Some individuals may also experience neck or shoulder tension, general fatigue, or pain in the back, arms, wrists or shoulders. If you experience tension, pain, or visual discomfort when using a computer, you may be suffering from a computer related-vision problem. This is effect is high in CRT monitor but still exists in LCD monitor also.
2. Work fatigue
If you feel fatigue or monotonous after prolonged use of computer, it is the condition called as Work fatigue. The main reason is continuous exposure of light especially theUV rays from the computer monitor. The retina of eye has photosensitive cells calledRods with Rhodopsin pigment. It undergoes bleaching into Opsin and Retinenewhen exposed to light. This bleaching reaction elicits nerve impulses which pass into the brain and we see the image by the interpretation of visual signals in the brain.
After the bleaching reaction, resynthesis of Rhodopsin takes place instantly. But if the eye is exposed to light continuously (looking into the monitor or head light from vehicles) there will not be sufficient time to resynthesize the Rhodopsin. So, as a protective measure, brain induces sleep to close the eyes inorder to block light. This is the reason for fatigue and sleep after one or two hours of computer use. This is also the main reason for accidents in night driving. The symptoms of Work fatigue includes, eye strain, dry eyes, head ache etc. The symptoms can be reduced by setting the correct colour contrast of the monitor and giving breaks to computer use, 5-10 minutes break after 1 hour use.
3. Text Neck
Widespread overuse of computer and handheld mobile devices is resulting in a harmful and dangerous physical condition on the human body, known as Text Neck. . The disorder is associated with chronic headache, pain in the shoulder, neck etc. The frequent forward flexion causes changes in the cervical spine, curve, supporting ligaments, tendons, and musculature, as well as the bony segments, commonly causing postural change.
The most common complaints reporting in Text neck are pain in the neck, shoulder, back, arm, fingers, hands, wrists and elbows, as well as headache and numbness and tingling of the upper extremities. If it is not properly treated, it can leads to decreased muscle strength, spinal degeneration, Spondylosis, Disc compression, Arthritis etc. The condition ofText Neck occurs because the joints and tissue in the neck are not built to withstand being flexed for long periods. Keeping the neck and head stretched forwards for long periods could eventually cause the natural curvature of the neck to reverse, potentially leading to serious health problems. Children are most at risk because their heads are larger in relation to their body size than adults, and women with slender necks should also take extra care to maintain a good posture.
4. Work related upper limb disorder
It is also called as Repetitive Strain Injury – a condition caused due to the repetitive task like sitting in the same posture for long time. The two most common forms of RSI are Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendon Injuries. Carpel tunnel syndrome is the pain and compression in the wrist due to over strain in the median nerve. This is mainly due to the over use of mouse and key board. This can lead to constant pain in the wrist, numbness and pins and needles which may prevent full mobility in the hand.
Tendonitis is the inflammation of tendons in the fingers due to repetitive stretching.Tenosynovitis is the condition caused by the inflammation in the tendon sheath due to over strain. All the disorders in the fingers and wrist due to the over use of computer can be called as Mouse syndrome.
5. Back pain
The human body is not designed to remain in a sedentary position for long periods of time. The highest incidences of back pain are found in workers whose jobs are entirely sedentary or entirely manual like jobs using computers.
How to solve these problems?
Most people cannot avoid the computer use because computer is a part of most of the jobs. But we can reduce the ill effects by adopting some safety measures.
1. A Good posture while using the computer can reduce, muscle pain, nerve stress etc.
2. By taking regular breaks
3. By resting the body with eyes closed for few minutes
4. By doing finger exercise
5. Meditation, Yoga, regular exercise etc can reduce the ill effects considerably.
Filed Under: Electronic Projects
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