Can you imagine going a day without technology? Probably not. But there are people who suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) who can’t go as far as to be close to any device.
EHS, sometimes known as the microwave syndrome is essentially a syndrome where one may experience certain symptoms (non-organ specific) when exposed to varying levels of Electromagnetic radiation emitted from technological devices. In terms of prevalence, there only seems to be a few hundred cases every 1 million people, and of those, around 10% were considered severe. Many individuals suffering from EHS also have a hard time receiving a diagnosis, as not every single patient experiences the same symptoms. However many have reported the following:
- Impaired Detoxification Systems
- Skin related effects (redness, tingling, burning sensations)
- Fatigue, tiredness, dizziness
- Heart Palpitations
- Digestive Disturbances
Since symptoms vary from patient to patient, the treatments also vary from one to another. One intrinsically logical solution would be to significantly reduce or limit one’s use of technological devices. They can test whether the severity of their symptoms largely reduces or not with limited screen-time and what level suits them.
Another solution would be to partake in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – one study found that this was the most effective solution for patients that are highly sensitive to weak EMFs. For those that experience severe EHS, it would be recommended to utilize EMF protective technology, wear EMF shielding clothes, and avoid highly exposed places such as malls and public transport. However, we need to acknowledge that it can be extremely challenging for these individuals to go about their day while trying to stay away from any device in this technologically driven world.
It’s also important to note that the current studies conducted on EHS individuals demonstrated that perhaps the sensitivity may have been due to a plethora of factors including pre-existing genetic conditions, and other environmental factors unrelated to EMFs – so it’s still an area where we need more data to come to conclusive statements. Additionally, individuals who suffer from other nervous system or autoimmune diseases may also experience EHS as a side effect.
Interestingly, the way that EHS is approached/seen actually differs from country to country. For example, in Europe, EHS is classified as a real illness and the government takes proactive action to reduce EMF exposure to further aid those that suffer from the disease. In Canada, EHS is also seen as a disability and the government has issued several information hubs to ensure employers know how to make appropriate accommodations. However, in the USA, its severity is still not fully acknowledged. Federal courts have not recognized EHS as a disability and while there have been court cases arguing against, minimal progress has been made.
As unfathomable as it is, there are some people who experience severe effects when exposed to technology. As it slowly gains recognition globally, it is important to contribute to critical changes like making public places more accessible for such individuals.