From selfitis to the selfie wrist; new-age health hazards are increasing

11:19 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine, Social Health Community

Selfie wrist has symptoms similar to the carpal tunnel syndrome

New Delhi, 29 December 2018: A research conducted recently has warned that people who take a lot of pictures by holding the camera at arm’s length with an inward bent wrist an develop what is known as the “selfie wrist.” The research is an outcome of several incidents including a selfie-taker jumping on a trampoline, walking on rocks or just not paying attention and ending up breaking their wrist from falling or colliding with other objects.

Selfie wrist is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome. People who experience selfie wrist may feel a tingling or sharp pain, which comes from flexing your wrist inward or holding your phone too long without moving. The median nerve spans from the forearm to the palm of the hand – and runs through a narrow passage in the wrist known as the carpal tunnel.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Today’s generation is constantly looking for external appreciation and approval. Youngsters want to show to the world that they have achieved a milestone that none or only a few others have achieved. The more daring a selfie, the more appreciation one gets. Such selfies help them in getting instant approval from their peers. We live in an age where mobile phones have penetrated our lives and actual human interaction is almost non-existent. Although technology has made life easier for everyone, there is a severe limitation as well. One of these includes taking selfies and being diagnosed with several maladies – mental and physical – the most recent being selfie wrist.”

The selfie phenomenon has exploded worldwide over the past two years. A selfie is now defined in the Oxford dictionary as ‘a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media’. Selfies have been linked to a large number of mortalities and significant morbidity worldwide.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “In this digital era, the key to good health should be moderation – moderate use of technology. A lot of us have become slaves to devices that were really meant to free us and give us more time to experience life and be with people. Unless precautionary measures are taken at the earliest, this addiction can prove detrimental to one’s health in the longer term.”

Some tips for preventing problems caused due to overuse of mobile phones are as follows.

  • Electronic curfew means not using any electronic gadgets 30 minutes before sleep.
  • Facebook holiday: Take a Facebook holiday for 7 days every three months.
  • Social media fast: Avoid use of social media once in a week for the entire day.
  • Use your mobile phone only when mobile.
  • Do not use computer for more than three hours in a day.
  • Limit your mobile talk time to more than two hours in a day.
  • Do not recharge your mobile battery more than once in a day.
  • Mobile can also be a source of infection in the hospital setup; therefore, it is disinfected every day.

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