Today, the nations of the world are more closely tied than ever before. But most of the people living in the cities suffer from heavy pollution, fast paced life and stress. Due to this overload, there are many side effects involved in this process.
In the world we live in today, many influences strive to pull us away from the healthy life we could lead, to a life full of stress, disease, and general poor health.
There is no doubt that advances in modern medicine and in other technologies have increased our average life expectancy and decreased child mortality rates. But strangely there are new health risks and diseases that are coming to notice. Here are some of them.
Earbuds Related Hearing loss
Studies suggest that earbud headphones that are so popular for iPods and other portable music devices may lead to hearing loss. Earbuds are placed directly in the ear and can boost the sound signal by as much as six to nine decibels (equivalent to difference in intensity between the sound made by a vacuum cleaner and the sound of a motorcycle engine). Researchers also found that teens usually listen to such devices at 110 to 120 decibels (equivalent to the sound levels at rock concerts) - loud enough to cause hearing loss after only an hour and 15 minutes.
•Use the MP3 devices, including iPods, no more than about an hour a day and at levels below 60 percent of maximum volume. Reduce the volume further and use different headphones (that fit outside the ear canal) to listen for longer durations.
•Use noise-canceling headphones that eliminate background noise so you don't fell the need to increase volume.
•Remove yourself from loud background noise places, or do not listen to music when you are in those places.
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a serious problem for the millions of people who spend hours in front of a computer every day. Computer vision syndrome is a condition involving headaches; eye strain; dry, irritated, or burning eyes; neck pain; blurred or double vision; difficulty refocusing the eyes; and sensitivity to light. These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper workstation setup, poor lighting (for example, bright overhead lighting or glare). and air moving past the eyes (for example, direct air from a fan).
While working long hours focusing on computer screens can decrease your blink rate to as low as 6-8 blinks per minutes as compared to normal blink rate of 16-20 per minute. This leads to dry eyes. Also, the near focusing effort required for such long hours puts strain on ciliary muscles of the eye leading to a feeling of tiredness in the eyes.
•Place your monitor directly in front of you, not off to one side to minimize eye movement.
•It should be about 20 to 26 inches away from you with top of the screen at eye level. This is because the ideal gaze angle is 10 to 20 degrees below the eye.
•Adjust lighting to remove any glare or reflections.
•Concentrate on blinking whenever you begin to sense symptoms of dry or irritated eyes.
•Every 20 to 30 minutes, look away from your monitor and focus on a distant object for 20 seconds. Or, close your eyes for 20 seconds every half hour.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can't stop worrying about health, money, family, or work. This excessive worry often interferes with day-to-day activities and relationships and makes it hard to enjoy life.
Although the disorder often manifests without any specific cause, large issues of modern life (such as the economy, terrorism, and crime) can bring it about, as can individual circumstances like stress and dealing with an illness. Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, difficulty concentrating, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, restlessness, and insomnia.
•Deal with your worry and anxiety in more productive ways like positive thinking when you feel stressed.
•Make any necessary anxiety-reducing lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, exercise and ample of sleep
•Learn and practice relaxation techniques like breathing, meditation etc.
E-thrombosis is related to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), associated with long-haul air travel, where blood clots (thrombus) form in deep veins, such as those in the legs. Clots can form when blood supply slows or stops, such as in a period of prolonged immobility. People who work or play for long amounts of time in front of a computer without moving are at increased risk of it. These clots can be fatal if they migrate to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
•Make sure your chair does not compress the uppers and sides of your legs, and that there are no sharp edges to the front of the chair.
•Sit on a fitness ball instead of the chair or stool.
•Stand up and walk around for five to ten minutes every hour.
•Avoid sitting at your desk with legs crossed.
•Frequent foot and leg exercises, even whilst sitting at the desk will help a great deal.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, involves intense fear of certain social situations. Underlying social anxiety disorder is the fear of being scrutinized, judged, or criticized by others. These social situations may be so frightening that some people can get anxious just thinking about them or go to great lengths to avoid them.
Physical symptoms often accompanying social anxiety disorder include sweating (hyperhidrosis), excessive blushing, trembling, palpitations, nausea, and stammering often accompanied with rapid speech. Panic attacks may also occur under intense fear and discomfort. Although the exact cause is not known, but social anxiety disorder is probably due to a combination of environmental and hereditary factors.
•When the anxiety starts coming up, take a few deep and slow breathes.
•Volunteer doing something you enjoy.
•Social skills training may help people learn appropriate behaviors.
•Psychodynamic therapy may help address the potential influences of the patient's early life experiences.
Good nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. However, for some people, healthy eating can turn into an unhealthy obsession leading to an eating disorder known as orthorexia nervosa. People with orthorexia nervosa spend large amounts of time thinking about healthy food, frequently planning menus a day in advance. They may take a healthy diet to extremes often leading to restricting their diets to the point that they become underweight. However, unlike patients suffering from anorexia nervosa (an eating disorder driven by a desire to be thin), individuals with orthorexia nervosa seek to attain optimum nutrition and purity through their diets.
•Eat more healthily with positive effect on health and without reducing the enjoyment of life
•Counseling and social support are key components of orthorexia nervosa treatment.
We have briefly touched on some of the problems and challenges of the modern world which keep us from enjoying optimum health. Having a holistic understanding of ourselves and what we can do to make ourselves healthier on a myriad of levels will prevent illness, even in the increasingly stressful modern world.