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Which of these 5 technology related health problems do you have?

Conditions like text neck, carpal tunnel syndrome,etc are quite common these days due to overuse of laptops and computers.

technologyFrom personal relationships to shopping to business to fitness, technology is fundamentally changing the way mankind lives. While itmay be a blessing, let us explore how everyday gadgets are adding to our physical woes.

Text Neck

Chances are you'd be reading this post while slumped in a chair or leaning on a table. Your head is titled to the extreme forward; your shoulders are curved; and your arms are bent by your extreme side. Am I right? This position is probably causing you the pain you are not aware about.

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Termed as a 'text neck' problem, physical therapists, doctors and chiropractors are of an opinion that carpel tunnel syndrome is a pass , and 'text neck' is the new tech-induced body ailment.

A term coined by Florida chiropractor Dean L Fishman, DC, this ailment is texting, gaming, and e-mailing all rolled into one. 'Text Neck is an overuse syndrome or a repetitive stress injury, where you have your head hung forward and down looking at your electronic device for extended periods of time,' he explains. 'Don't get me wrong: I love technology, but this is a global epidemic not just from texting, but from using all sorts of wireless media.' (Read: Top 5 bad postures that could affect your health)

Sleep disorders

Too much of artificial light from TV and computer screen might affect melatonin production by throwing away circadian rhythms, preventing deep and restorative sleep. According to a research conducted in the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, intensive use of cell phones and computers can be linked to an increase in stress, sleep disorders and depressive symptoms in young adults. Some of the more specific findings from the research were:

  • Heavy cell phone use showed an increase in sleep disorders in men and an increase in depressive symptoms in both men and women.
  • Men who use computers intensively were more likely to develop sleeping problems.
  • Regular, late night computer use, without any frequent breaks was associated with sleep disorders, stress and depressive symptoms in both men and women. (Read: What's not letting you sleep?)

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

Are you somebody who is glued to desktop for 6 to 7 hours on a daily basis because of your professional demands and often complain of mild to moderate dry or watery eyes? You probably have computer vision syndrome. This means that you are suffering from increasing evaporation of tears, blurred vision, double vision, dry, red eyes, eye irritation, headaches and neck or back pain.

Research presented by the American Optometric Association indicates that 'more than seventy per cent of users that work on a computer monitor (which is over 140 million) experience computer vision syndrome (CVS) or eye fatigue.'

Even though, gradual onset of watering of the eyes is not a cause for concern; but if faced perpetually, do try and cut the glare, rearrange your desk, give your eyes a break or tweak your computer settings. However, it is always advisable to visit your eye doctor regularly for an examination if your eye strain is constant. (Read: Dry eyes - causes, symptoms and treatment)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Often shrugged off as a slight cramp, a muscle pull, or a muscle spasm, carpel tunnel syndrome is a serious nerve disorder condition, depending upon the intensity, which occurs at the wrist leading to pain, sensory changes and loss of function within the hand. Numbness in the fingers (especially thumb, index and middle finger), burning, tingling sensation in the palm, pain radiating in upward direction of the hand, tightening of joints and fingers and poor grip while holding objects are a few lethal symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome.

A few preventive measures are:

  • Use minimum force while performing your gadget-linked tasks.
  • Take regular breaks and stretch your wrists.
  • Keep the keyboard at elbow height or slightly lower.
  • Try and take adequate rest from computer at frequent intervals.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

In 2003, Wired magazine ran a report on the risk of deep vein thrombosisafter a 32-year-old man who had been at his computer for hours suffered a massive blood clot that caused him to black out. Hence, researchers have timE and again warned computer users to get up, move around and avoid limiting long hours of immobility while using computer.

It's time you realised how technology and gadgets though making our lives simpler are also affecting our health in some ways. Don't let them take over your life and damage your physical health in the long run. (Read: Is your workplace making you ill?)

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