26% doctors suffer from severe mobile phone-induced anxiety: Excessive use of mobile phone can be injurious to your health

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While people are concerned about cancer, which still remains a controversial issue, there are other future health problems caused by use of mobile phones especially smart phones. Prolonged use of mobile phone can cause neck pain, dry eyes, computer vision syndrome, anxiety (ringxiety), phobias (nomophobia) and insomnia.

Addressing a press conference on the occasion of World Environment Day, Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee, Dr. K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India; Dr. Narendra Saini Secretary General Indian Medical Association; Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Orthopedic Surgeon at Moolchand Medcity; Dr. J Nagpal Sr. Psychiatrist and Padma Shri Awardee and Dr. A K Grover Sr Eye Specialist Ganga Ram Hospital said that in India, the hazards of radiation are much more than in the West because of active and passive mobile phone radiations and also because of combined use of other radiations such as from computers, microwaves and frequent x-ray done by doctors.

Fifty crore people in the world use mobile phones. These phones release low power radio frequency waves, which transmit radio frequency radiations from 500-800 mGH through the antenna placed near the head.

Heart Care Foundation of India conducted a survey, which included 25 nurses of one hospital, 25 office staff of one public company, 25 media desk executives of one electronic TV media house and 87 family physicians from all across Delhi. The observations were as follows:

Use of Smart phones

• Ten percent office staff, 20% nurses and 60% media house desk executives and 31% family physicians used smart phones. Amongst family physicians, 11.5% spent < 30 minutes on their smart phone daily; 7% 30-60 minutes; 3% 60-90 minutes; 2% 90-120 minutes; 4% 120-240 minutes and 9% > 240 minutes.
• 80 % office staff, 80% nurses, 80% media desk executives and 41% family physicians are on Face book. Amongst family physicians, 26% used it for less than 15 minutes; 7% 15-30 minutes; 9% between 30-60 minutes; 2% between 60-90 minutes and 5% more than 120 minutes. 25% family physicians connected to Face book from their phones.
• 20 % office staff, 30% nurses, 70% media desk executives and 25% family physicians have a Twitter account. Among family physicians, only 50% used it regularly and 25% used it daily. Of the daily users, 90% used it for less than 5 minutes.
• Only 7% family physicians blogged.
• Thirty-six percent family physicians retrieved emails from their phone.

Smart phone addiction, a new disease

• On an average, nurses recharged their phone battery twice in a day; media desk executives and doctors did it three times in a day.
• Sixty-one percent doctors find someone to call as soon as they leave their office or as soon as their flight lands.
• Seventy percent family physicians keep their cell phone with them constantly. Even at home they keep it in their pocket or right next to them.
• 43% of them fiddle with their cell phone whenever they have downtime (even when they are not on the phone or they only have a very few minutes to kill).
• 33% of them always feel anxious about their cell phone, especially when they are unable to use it (meeting, plane, class, church)
• 28% of them are uncomfortable and fidgety when they are not using their cell phone.
• 7% family physicians feel the need to talk on the phone almost all the time.
• Sixty-three percent of family physicians sleep with their cell phone under the pillow or on a night stand right next to the bed. This number is 20-50% for nurses, office staff and media desk executives.

Nomophobia
Sixty percent of youth aged 20-30 years fear losing their mobile phone, called nomophobia; 43% of family physicians suffer from nomophobia.

Cell phone anxiety
• 43% family physicians experienced high levels of anxiety, stress, or insecurity, whenever they were without their cell phone.
• 50% of the mobile phone users experienced ringxiety.
• 25% family physicians sometimes believed their phone was ringing, but when they answered it or listened longer they found that it wasn’t ringing at all (phantom ringing).
• 15% family physicians reported feeling stressed when they received their cell phone bill and then experienced shock once they actually saw the amount.
• 22% family physicians reported being unable to resist special offers on the latest cell phone models.

Severity of anxiety

• The mean social media addiction score (calculation based on 17 dependence questions) for doctors was 5.5. (Any score of more than 8 requires social media curfew and social media holidays along with counseling).
• Only 6% family physicians reported feeling no anxiety at all.
• Mild anxiety (score < 4) was present in 43% family physicians (average score 3)
• Moderate anxiety (score 5-7) was present in 25% of family physicians (average score 6).
• 26% family physicians had a score of > 8 indicating presence of social media addiction (average score 10).
• The mean social media addiction score (calculation based on 17 dependence questions) was 6.3 for office staff, 9 for desk executives and 8 for nurses.

Mobile phone as a cause of conflict

• 26% family physicians had been teased because they had their cell phone even while working out or doing some other activity.
• 48% doctors said that their personal cell phone use had increased significantly.
• Face book was the cause of conflict in 20 % of situations for a family conflict (second to TV).
• 23% family physicians experienced problems at work because of their cell phone use.
• 18% family physicians had had problems with family or friends because of the cell phone use.

Mobile phone as a cause of disturbed sleep

• On an average, office staff spent 20 minutes, nurses 30 minutes and media house desk executives 60 minutes surfing on their smart phones on the bed.
• 26% family physicians were disturbed by a smart phone alert in the night; 7% reported getting disturbed daily (average 3 times).
• Only 40% doctors and 30% of nurses, hospital staff and media executives would stop using their mobile phones 30 minutes before sleep.
• 50% mobile phone users woke up in the night because of smart phone alerts.
• 40% people had disturbed sleep pattern because of smart phone use.

Mobile phone use while driving
Using or talking on a mobile phone while driving is more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. Using mobile phone while driving reduces reaction time by 30% compared to people under the influence of alcohol and 50% compared to persons without alcohol. The reaction time under the influence of mobile phone is half a second longer. This amounts to a car traveling with a speed of 70 miles /hour to cover a distance of 46 feet before stopping.

36% doctors said that they receive emergency calls on mobile when they are driving. When they stop and answer, 20% of the calls are marketing calls enough to get frustrated and 30% of the calls are emergency calls from their patients.

Mobile phone as a cause of day time distraction

• 32% family physicians reported being distracted by a smart phone alert during a meeting.
• 30% of non doctors said that they got distracted in a meeting because of an SMS or email alert.

Mobile phone breaks and holidays
Only 48% family physicians took cell phone breaks while at work.

Use of mobile phone in the Operation Theatre
In a US survey of cardiopulmonary bypass technicians published in the journal Perfusion, 50% used a smart phone during surgery, 43% in a cardiac OT, 50% talked on cell phone and 50% texted on their phones. In cardiac OT, 20% perfusionists accessed emails, 15% used internet and 3% checked or posted on social networking sites during surgery.
A similar survey conducted by Heart Care Foundation of India in one of the corporate hospital in Delhi found:

• Ninety percent of nurses and 50% of OT technicians also reported taking calls during the surgery.
• Ten percent doctors, 20% nurses and 50% technicians would check their messages (SMS) even during surgery.
• No doctor or nurse tweeted during the surgery, but 50% of the technicians who have a Twitter account said that they do use Twitter and tweet during the surgery.
• None of the doctors, nurses or technicians used their emails or accessed their Face book accounts during surgery.
• Doctors do talk and attend to their mobile phones while surgery is going on and communicate through a nurse or a junior who works as a bridge between the surgeon and the caller.
The reason given for picking up the phone was to rule out emergency calls, but the reason for use of SMS or Twitter was boredom.

Computer vision syndrome

Computer vision syndrome is a temporary condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for protracted and uninterrupted periods of time.

Some symptoms are headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, redness in the eyes, fatigue, eye strain, dry eyes, irritated eyes, double vision, vertigo/dizziness, polyopia and difficulty refocusing the eyes. These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper lighting conditions (glare or bright overhead lighting) or air moving past the eyes (overhead vents, direct air from a fan).

Computer vision syndrome affects some 90% of the people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer.

BlackBerry thumb

Overuse of the thumb to operate a mobile device may lead to BlackBerry thumb.
BlackBerry thumb is a neologism that refers to a form of repetitive strain injury caused by the frequent use of the thumbs to press buttons on PDAs, smartphones, or other mobile devices.

It is also called wiiitis, nintendinitis, playstation thumb or cellphone thumb.
Thumb lacks the dexterity that the other four fingers have. This is especially common in those who use these devices for such activities at high speeds comparable to that of touch typing.

Symptoms of BlackBerry thumb include aching and throbbing pain in the thumb or sometimes other fingers and in the wrist.

Other diseases
• Wii Knees, Touch-Screen Finger, Text Neck, and the dreaded Smartphone Saggy Face, Phantom Vibration Syndrome.
• Wii knees; Tenderness or soreness in the knees from excessive use of the Nintendo Wii Fit. Similar in nature to tennis elbow.
• Saggy face (saggy jowls, double chins and “marionette lines” often develop from the angles at which people use their trendy new mobile devices. Leaning your head to hold your mobile phone in between your face and shoulder is believed to cause facial skin and muscle to lose its elasticity more quickly than normal).

HCFI and IMA suggestions to prevent and treat mobile phone addictions
• Face book holidays: One should take a full one week face book holiday if one is suspected to have social media addiction.
• Electronic curfew: Everybody should have 30 minutes of electronic curfew before they sleep. (Electronic curfew means not using mobile phones and other mobile devices for 30 minutes before sleep).
• Use mobile only when mobile.
• Limit mobile talk time to less than 2 hours a day
• Once the battery is discharged, call it a day for mobile use.
• Follow the formula of “20-20-20″ to prevent dry eyes: Every 20 mins, focus the eyes on an object 20 feet (6 meters) away for 20 seconds or close the eyes for 20 seconds, at least every half hour.
• To prevent computer vision syndrome, spend less than 3 hours on a computer.
• Using other fingers to press buttons on handheld device can prevent BlackBerry thumb.

About HCFI: The only National Not for profit NGO, on whose mega community health education events, Govt. of India has released two National commemorative stamps and one cancellation stamp, and who has conducted one to one training on” Hands only CPR” of 54572 people since 1st November 2012.

The CPR 10 Mantra is – “within 10 minutes of death, earlier the better; at least for the next 10 minutes, longer the better; compress the centre of the chest of the dead person continuously and effectively with a speed of 10×10 i.e. 100 per minute.”

Azharuddin’s son Ayazuddin a victim of missed resuscitation during the Golden Hour?

Health Care, Medicine, Social Health Community 558 Comments

Ayazuddin (19), son of former cricketer and Moradabad MP Mohammad Azharuddin, died on 16th September (2011) five days after being critically injured in a road accident in Hyderabad. He was critically injured when his 1000 CC Suzuki skidded on the Outer Ring Road at Puppalguda on Sunday. His cousin died on the same day.

Ayazuddin suffered a cardiac arrest on his way to the hospital. He responded to resuscitation and was later operated on to stop the bleeding from his lung and kidney. His kidneys were also damaged. Commuters on the route alerted the police and a patrol vehicle from a nearby police station arrived soon. The police team failed to get an ambulance and had to take the profusely bleeding cousins in their patrol vehicle to the hospital, losing an hour in the process.

Medically the lesson is that opportunity to save him was list as the precious first hour was missed of resuscitation.  The “Golden Hour” concept emphasizes the increased risk of death and the need for rapid intervention during the first hour of care following major trauma. Rapid intervention improves the outcome of injured patients (obstructed airway, tension pneumothorax, severe hemorrhage).

Death in road traffic accident can be a part of trimodal distribution of mortality (death at the scene; death 1 to 4 hours after injury; and death weeks later, generally in an intensive care setting) or bimodal distribution (death at the scene or within the first 4 hours).

The current thinking is that relatively few patients die after the first 24 hours following injury. The large majority of deaths occurs either at the scene or within the first four hours after the patient reaches a trauma center. This is true only when the patient gets medical care within the first hour. The care involves fluid resuscitation and control of the bleeding.

Is sex an exercise and is it hard on the heart?

Health Care, Medicine 1,021 Comments

This is a piece taken from HealthBeat to share with our readers. At some time in his life, nearly every man gets exercised about sex. And as many men get older, they wonder if sex is a good form of exercise or if it’s too strenuous for the heart.

Treadmill vs. mattress

To evaluate the cardiovascular effects of sexual activity, researchers monitored volunteers while they walked on a treadmill in the lab and during private sexual activity at home. In addition to 13 women, the volunteers included 19 men with an average age of 55. About three-quarters of the men were married, and nearly 70% had some form of cardiovascular disease; 53% were taking beta blockers. Despite their cardiac histories, the men reported exercising about four times a week, and they reported having sexual activity about six times a month on average.

Researchers monitored heart rate and blood pressure during standard treadmill exercise tests and during “usual” sexual activity with a familiar partner at home. All the sex acts concluded with vaginal intercourse and male orgasm. Disappointingly perhaps, the treadmill proved more strenuous. On an intensity scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, men evaluated treadmill exercise as 4.6 and sex as 2.7. Sex was even less strenuous for women in terms of heart rate, blood pressure, and perceived intensity of exertion.

Sex as exercise

Men seem to spend more energy thinking and talking about sex than on the act itself. During sexual intercourse, a man’s heart rate rarely gets above 130 beats a minute, and his systolic blood pressure nearly always stays under 170. All in all, average sexual activity ranks as mild to moderate in terms of exercise intensity. As for oxygen consumption, it comes in at about 3.5 METS (metabolic equivalents), which is about the same as doing the foxtrot, raking leaves, or playing ping pong. Sex burns about five calories a minute; that’s four more than a man uses watching TV but it’s about the same as walking the course to play golf. If a man can walk up two or three flights of stairs without difficulty, he should be in shape for sex.

Sex as sex

Raking leaves may increase a man’s oxygen consumption, but it probably won’t get his motor running. Sex, of course, is different, and the excitement and stress might well pump out extra adrenaline. Both mental excitement and physical exercise increase adrenaline levels and can trigger heart attacks and arrhythmias, abnormalities of the heart’s pumping rhythm. Can sex do the same? In theory, it can. But in practice, it’s really very uncommon, at least during conventional sex with a familiar partner.

Careful studies show that fewer than one of every 100 heart attacks is related to sexual activity, and for fatal arrhythmias the rate is just one in 200. Put another way, for a healthy 50-year-old man, the risk of having a heart attack in any given hour is about one in a million; sex doubles the risk, but it’s still just two in a million. For men with heart disease, the risk is 10 times higher — but even for them, the chance of suffering a heart attack during sex is just 20 in a million. Those are pretty good odds.

How about Viagra?

Until recently, human biology has provided unintentional (and perhaps unwanted) protection for men with heart disease. That’s because many of the things that cause heart disease, such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels, also cause erectile dysfunction. The common link is atherosclerosis, which can damage arteries in the penis as well as in the heart.

Sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil  have changed that. About 70% of men with erectile dysfunction (ED) respond to the ED pills well enough to enable sexual intercourse. Sex may be safe for most men with heart disease, but are ED pills a safe way to have sex?

For men with stable coronary artery disease and well-controlled hypertension, the answer is yes — with one very, very important qualification. Men who are taking nitrate medications in any form cannot use ED pills. This restriction covers all preparations of nitroglycerin, including long-acting nitrates; nitroglycerin sprays, patches, and pastes; and amyl nitrate. Fortunately, other treatments for erectile function are safe for men with heart disease, even if they are using nitrates.

Safe sex

Sex is a normal part of human life. For all men, whether they have heart disease or not, the best way to keep sex safe is to stay in shape by avoiding tobacco, exercising regularly, eating a good diet, staying lean, and avoiding too much (or too little) alcohol. Needless to say, men should not initiate sexual activity if they are not feeling well, and men who experience possible cardiac symptoms during sex should interrupt the sexual activity at once.

With these simple guidelines and precautions, sex is safe for the heart — but it should be safe for the rest of the body, too. Sexually transmitted diseases pose a greater threat than sexually induced heart problems. When it comes to sex, men should use their brains as well as their hearts.

[Source HealthBeat: Harvard]

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