Mobile phone Illnesses

May 15, 2020

Written by: Dr. Atul Wankhede

Up till now the debate has been whether mobile radiations can cause brain tumour or not. However, there's a range of diseases related to use of mobile phones and it is anticipated that 10 years from now they will take an epidemic shape. To the already known diseases that are occurring as a result of overuse of mobile phones and other gadgets like laptops, tablets and desktops, here are some observations that I feel need our attention.

Computer vision syndrome: It occurs in 90% of people who use computer for more than 3 hours at a stretch. It leads to drying of eyes and headache. To prevent it, take a 20 seconds break after every 20 minutes and look at a distance of 10 feet for these 20 seconds.

Mobile thumb: This is inflammation of the tendons in the thumb leading to pain. This can be prevented by alternatively using fingers while texting on a phone. Stiff neck occurs due to constant use of mobile in one hand with neck flexed. It can be prevented by alternative shifting of phone from one hand to another, and from one ear to the other.

Cellphone elbow: It's a pain in the elbow caused by the stretching of ulnar nerve by use of mobile phone in a flexed position for a long time. Using hands–free set can prevent this.

Nomophobia: It is present in 50% of the mobile users and is a type of mobile addiction. The term literally means, 'no mobile phobia', which means that a person always fears losing his/her phone.

Ringxiety: It is the anxiety resulting due to not receiving a call in the last 30 minutes. It is present in 30% of the mobile users.

Industrial neck pain: Almost 70% IT industry professionals suffer with either neck pain or lower back pain due to long hours of working on computers and cell phones.

Phantom ringing: It is present in 20–30% of mobile users. You can feel that your phone is ringing but when you check, it is actually not ringing, or the least to say there's no message!

Social site addiction: With the growing popularity of smartphones, one is addicted to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other such applications. These can cause insomnia, fragmented sleep, etc.

After TV, Facebook is the second leading cause of relational disharmony within the family and is present in 20% of the houses. Smartphone is fast becoming a cause for parent–child conflict in 30% of the cases. Often children stay up late and go to school unprepared. On an average, people spend 30–60 minutes in bed playing with their smartphone before sleeping.


  • Electronic curfew- It means not using any electronic gadgets 30 minutes before sleep. Bed should be treated as a sanctum where one is supposed to peacefully rest, without gadgets and television and yes books too.
  • 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 3 hours in a day.
  • Limit your mobile talk time to not more than 2 hours in a day.
  • Do not recharge your mobile battery more than once in a day, and never to keep them under/around the pillow while charging. It's best to keep it silent at night.
  • Avoid looking into mobile phones immediately after waking up from sleep.
  • Strictly stop young children from developing addiction of mobiles by either not exposing them or encouraging outdoor activity or in severe cases by restricting their time on mobiles.
  • As painful and difficult these preventive measures may sound, if you are suffering with even one of the ill effects of using gadgets, it's highly recommended that you consider going offline and disconnect from virtual world and return back to reality. That's where the real life is!

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