The first cases of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (often referred to as electro-hypersensitivity or even EHS) were studied in the 1970s and yet decades later few people are even aware of the condition. We living human beings are more than just flesh and blood; we are also a highly complex electromagnetic system. This also means that we interact with external electromagnetic radiation (EMR). But try switching off every single electrical device in your home and work and ponder on how dependent we now are on these devices. The problem is that no importance is given to how detrimental all this EMR is to human health.
Before we look at common symptoms of electro-hypersensitivity it is worth noting that there is usually one trigger event that then sets off a general reaction to further sources of electromagnetic frequencies (EMF). In the early days of studying this phenomenon the most common trigger was working with a new computer - more specifically a new monitor. People tend to sit much closer to a computer monitor than they ever would a TV set so that the EMR coming from the cathode ray tube (CRT) is also that much stronger. The phasing out of CRTs to be replaced by LCD and plasma screens is welcomed but even these new screens emit some radiation. However, at the same time we are seeing an explosion of pulsed EMF signals from mobile phone microwaves and various wireless protocols from Bluetooth through to Wifi and WiMax. Finding yourself very close to a cellphone base station can also be a trigger - and in a city this is very likely to happen without you even knowing about it!
The most common reaction for a person sensitive to electromagnetic frequencies is a warm burning sensation in the area most affected. This could be the face or one side of the head, or even a general burning sensation throughout the body. It is often described as similar to being sunburnt. There may also be physical signs such as skin rashes or blemishes as well as eye problems and a feeling that one's mucus membranes have dried up. Below is a list of the most common symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
= A warm or burning sensation in the face somewhat like feeling sunburnt
= A tingling or prickling sensation across the face or other parts of the body
= Extreme dryness of mucus membranes such as the back of the throat and eyes
= A swelling of the mucus membranes such as nose, throat, ears and sinuses without any infectious cause
= Problems with concentration, loss of memory and dizziness
= A feeling of impending influenza (flu) that somehow never quite breaks out
= Headaches and nausea
= Teeth and jaw pains
= Aches and pains in muscles and joints
= Cardiac palpitations
Some of these symptoms can be put down to lethargy and possibly stress but all are obvious signs of an autoimmune reaction to something in your life. For EHS to be considered you have to think back to before you felt this way. Has something changed in your environment? Have you or your workplace purchased some new electronic equipment? Have you or a neighbour installed a home Wifi system? Sadly, there is currently no cure to electro-hypersensitivity apart from shielding oneself from the offending sources.
So before spending money on an EMF sensing device or a professional EMF engineer it is worth doing your own experiments in removing potential sources of electromagnetic pollution. As EMF is invisible to the eye and all-pervading you may even have to go outside the city into the country - making sure you are not accidentally near a phone mast planted on top of that idyllic mountain. In the extreme, remove yourself completely from electrical equipment, not just modern electronics but anything connected to the electricity grid. Yes, this means going camping! If you really must take your mobile phone for emergencies make sure that for the sake of the experiment you not only switch it off but also remove the battery.
If you feel much better by removing the EMRs in your life then become even more attuned to how you feel going back into your "normal" daily routine. Do fluorescent lights give you a headache? Is the mains hum the source of discomfort? Is it your cellphone or even driving in a car? A car emits powerful EMR from the alternator and spark plugs. If you manage to locate the source then you can start to consider your options. Some countries classify electro-hypersensitivity as a disability and may offer assistance. Otherwise the only choices at the moment are to shield yourself, either with various products to make your home as electromagnetically clean as possible or to change location to somewhere that has less electromagnetic pollution.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- "Sorry Laaz, this comment is not directly related to the content in this blog and will be deleted..."
- "Nice catch, thank you...."
- "The chart (and the framing by the underlying statstics) is making more of an evangelical case than..."
- "For the data, see Richardson EG1, Hemenway D. 2011: Homicide, suicide, and unintentional firearm..."
- "Hello IR,if you apply to one of the positions we'll open next month (5 or 6 if I'm not mistaken)..."
Books By Writers Here