Pune: A 31-year-old IT professional based in Pune decided to reduce the time he spends online on his phone. The reason - growing pain in his neck and a throbbing headache every day. Sahil Kalloli was diagnosed with severe pain in neck, shoulders, arm, forearm and fingers because of excess use of phone. He noted that he spent most of his time online on social media websites.
Sahil is not alone. Almost every other person can be seen spending a lot of time on their phones, mostly chatting on WhatsApp, surfing social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or just binge watching videos on Youtube.
Doctors from the city noted that there has been a drastic increase in patients with eye and spine problems after social media sites got popular.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Chetan Pradhan, Orthopaedic based in Pune, said the number of such patients has increased from 15 to 20 per cent. However, what is more alarming is that 20 per cent of the patients are in the 20 to 40 years age group, he noted.
“There are various conditions. First is the ‘text neck’, which happens because of the position of our neck when we are texting. Our neck muscles strain and then remain strained, which increases the pain in the neck. ‘Texting thumb’ is another condition in which the fingertips - specially the thumb - are strained. Small joints get swollen and are often painful. These conditions should not be ignored, as in all of these cases, the muscles are getting strained,” said Pradhan.
With spine, shoulder and neck problems, the eye has not been left untouched. Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Devendra Venkat, an eye specialist from Pune, said that there are a range of eye issues, which are collectively called ‘computer vision syndrome’. “There has been a huge jump in number of patients with eye dryness. Around 10 to 15 years back, the problem was almost non-existent. Now, we witness youngsters between the age of 20 to 30 years come to us with eye-related issues due to excess use of computers,” said Venkat.
He noted that when a person focuses on a near-by object, the eye muscles strain and while looking at a far away object, the muscles relax. “Many cases of eye dryness are also coming to us. We tend to blink during normal interaction. However, when we focus, we tend to blink less, which causes eye dryness. This is also on the rise,” said Venkat.