In today’s digital world, we are subjected to radiation from electromagnetic fields all the time. They are all around us, emitting from our radios, TVs, household appliances, wi-fi routers, microwaves, and, of course, our cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices.To address concerns about whether using cell phones can cause brain cancer, experts in the field have conducted numerous studies but no studies to date have confirmed that using cell phones damages the brain or that cell phone use causes cancer.
While this is somewhat reassuring, we need to protect ourselves and use cell phones with caution because we don’t want to find out tomorrow cell phone use causes a problem. We believe it’s possible for electronic magnetic fields to damage the body, but experts have yet to pinpoint the exact cause and effect.
Similarly, no studies have conclusively linked children who’ve developed brain cancer to their use of an iPad. Little children’s brains develop very quickly, however, so just use good judgment in limiting screen time for children.
Using Electronics Can Damage the Body
As a physician, I see several ways in which the use of electronics can harm the body. Three common complaints are neck aches, headaches and joint pain. People also get wrist tendonitis from constantly holding or using their cell phones.
People can also get headaches when they use their phones close to the face in a certain position, or when they take their laptop or tablet to bed with them to work. They tend to lie in a position that gets their muscles all flared up, which results in a muscle contraction headache. I try to advise them how to properly use electronic devices so it doesn’t cause muscular skeletal issues.
Cell phones cause stress, especially if you never unplug them. We have found that people who can turn off and put their phone away at night sleep much better than a person who keeps it turned on in their bedroom. The LED lights on their phone illuminate with any alert and their brain never gets to rest.
Electronic use also causes interpersonal issues. Relationship studies show if you have two people in a room with a computer, their focus is going to be on the computer. It’s difficult to have an interpersonal relationship with someone who is always looking down at their cell phone or focusing on their tablet.
Tips to Reduce Potential Damage from Using Electronics
Be mindful about how you are using electronics and understand the possible dangers that may occur.
- Don’t hold your phone close to your ear. Use a little earpiece or use the speakerphone when you talk on your cell phone.
- Studies have shown that if you keep your computer screen 12 to 20 inches away from your body, the field of electromagnetic impulses is much safer for you. It’s the same with your phone.
- Don’t spend a lot of time with your screens on, and don’t sleep with your cell phone next to you or next to your bed. You’re just putting yourself in harm’s way.
- Get a cell phone that has a big enough screen, so you don’t have to squint to see it.
- Don’t use your cell phone while driving. Accidents caused by distracted drivers is quickly outpacing accidents caused by drunk drivers.
Want to learn more about how to use technology without damaging your body? Call or email me at Westfield Premier Physicians.