New Delhi, 4th August 2018: All that time teens spend glued to their phones may be affecting their brain and leading to symptoms of what is called the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As per recent research published in JAMA, frequent digital media use appeared to increase the risk of having symptoms of ADHD by about 10%. The risk was higher for boys than girls, and for teens who had depression or a previous history of getting into trouble.
ADHD can have many negative effects on teenagers including poor school performance. It can also increase their likelihood of undertaking risky activities as also substance abuse and legal problems.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “With the growing popularity of smartphones, one is addicted to Facebook, internet, Twitter and other such applications. These can cause insomnia, fragmented sleep, etc. Smartphone is a cause for parent-child conflict in 30% of the cases. Often children get up late and end up going to school unprepared. On an average, people spend 30 to 60 minutes in the bed playing with the smart phone before sleep. A new spectrum of diseases related to use of mobile phones has also come to the notice of medical profession and it is anticipated that 10 years from now they will take an epidemic shape. Some of these are Blackberry Thumb, cellphone elbow, Nomophobia, and Ringxiety.”
Some of the most common symptoms of ADHD include inattentiveness (being easily distracted, having difficulty getting organized or remembering to do things), hyperactivity (having difficulty sitting still), and impulsivity (making decisions without thinking through the possible consequences).
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Having access to so many different streams of information through gadgets has been found to decrease the brain’s grey matter density, which is responsible for cognition and emotional control. In this digital era, the key to good health should be moderation i.e. moderate use of technology. Most of us have become slaves to devices that were really meant to free us and give us more time to experience life and be with people. And we are leading our children in the same path as well.”
Some tips from HCFI
- Electronic curfew means not using any electronic gadgets 30 minutes before sleep.
- 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 three hours in a day.
- Limit your mobile talk time to more than two hours in a day.
- Do not recharge your mobile battery more than once in a day.
- Mobile can also be a source of infection in the hospital setup; therefore, it is disinfected everyday