Dr. Schrader
Phone: (405) 418-5400
Fax: (877) 360-0568
Dr. Floyd
Phone: (405) 418-5400
Fax: (877) 747-1824
Dr. Jackson
Phone: (405) 418-5400
Fax: (877) 620-0691
Dr. Bargas
Phone: (405) 418-5400
Fax: (877) 705-7297
Dr. Jones
Phone: (405) 418-5400
Fax: (877) 768-6904
Dr. Elenburg
Phone: (405) 418-5400
Fax: (877) 732-3335
Dr. Thomas
Phone: (405) 418-5400
Fax: (405) 418-5401

How is our digital world affecting our health?

The way we use electronics influences our lives everyday, so it is important to be aware of the effects of living in this technological world.

Technology is not a problem itself, as it has helped our society progress and has enhanced our way of living. Rather, how we use technology and our lack of self-control when it comes to how often and in what environments we are engaged in our electronics can sometimes create issues.

Sleep deprivation and sleeping problems are the most common side effects of misusing technology. The LED lighting on phones and tablets are hard on your eyes and keep your brain active for more than an hour after you turn your electronics off, making it difficult to fall asleep, and even more difficult for your brain to reach that deep stage of sleep that it needs. The blue light from these screens suppresses and delays the release of melatonin, which is the hormone that induces sleep. Kids especially require a long night of quality sleep, and the majority of children don’t reach the recommended amount. The majority of American kids have some type of electronic device in their bedroom, which dramatically cuts back on their ability to fall asleep, and the quality of sleep they receive. Experts recommend setting a curfew for all electronics an hour or two before your child’s bedtime. For last minute homework on the laptop, it may help to dim the brightness of the screen, or download an app that warms the colors on your screen to decrease the blue light that keeps your brain awake. (f.lux: software to make your life better: https://justgetflux.com)

Office workers often suffer from small injuries or disorders that they may or may not be aware of. Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, is common within the office. It is similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as it is caused by small repetitive motions, but it affects the eyes rather than your limbs. If you use a computer for a majority of your workday, either reading or writing, your eyes will get tired of repeating the same movements over and over. It is different than reading from a piece of paper because of the lighting, and glare from a screen which requires more work from your eyes.. Eventually, symptoms of CVS may appear, such as eye irritation, dryness, double vision or blurred vision, headaches, and neck or back pain. There is no evidence of long term effects if CVS is treated, but these symptoms may linger until then.

Repetitive Stress Injury, or RSI, is also common in the office as it is caused by small repetitive movements such as typing or the use of a computer mouse. As little as half an hour a day of these repetitive movements can cause the tendons to swell and press on surrounding nerves, causing pain in these areas. Without treatment, long term effects of RSI can dangerously affect your whole body. Ask your doctor for more information.

There are many more health related issues from the usage of electronics, such as obesity and hearing loss. Social skills, work ethic, mental health, and academic success may also be affected by our use of technology. As our digital world grows exponentially, it is important to be aware of the pros and cons of each software, app, device, and gadget, and how it may affect your family before bringing it into your home.

Please talk to your doctor for more ways you can keep you and your children healthy and happy.