Інформація призначена тільки для фахівців сфери охорони здоров'я, осіб,
які мають вищу або середню спеціальну медичну освіту.

Підтвердіть, що Ви є фахівцем у сфері охорони здоров'я.



Журнал "Здоров`я дитини" 3 (46) 2013

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Influence of information technologies on adolescent health

Автори: Ieshchenko A.V., Kharkiv Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, Ukraine

Рубрики: Педіатрія/Неонатологія

Розділи: Довідник фахівця

Версія для друку

The percentage of healthy adolescents in Ukraine amounts to 2-9% nowadays and tends to decrease every year. There has been a 15% increase in the incidence of diseases in adolescents during the last 5 years, including a 7,6% increase in nervous system diseases frequency and a 4,5% increase in psychic and behavioural disorders. Such dynamics is accompanied by an increased computerization: personal computers, Internet, mobile phones can provoke adolescent diseases. WHO added computer addiction to its list of pathological addictions. The percentage of Internet dependent users amounts to 14%. As compared with adult addiction, an adolescent habit requires less time to be formed.

The use of computer, if balanced properly and purposeful, has many positive qualities, especially at the world cognition stage; it can facilitate formation of useful skills. Computer and Internet provide access to the world's cultural and scientific legacy. Though, they can provoke a decrease in adolescent culture level, morality, memory and attention and lead to desocialization. A prolonged dwelling in virtuality develops psychological infantilism, an increased aggressivity or emotional dullness, mental outlook limitation, and a risk of asocial behaviour.

The harmful influence of computer technologies consists in electromagnetic radiation of the monitor, system unit and other units of personal computer. Biologically, the most radiation-sensible are nervous, immune and reproductive systems. Adolescents as persons at the age of puberty and active growth and formation of organs and systems are the most exposed to the risk of diseases.

A prolonged adolescent dwelling in virtuality can provoke an addictive behaviour. Addiction symptoms are conventially qualified as psychic, social and moral. Computer addition can be accompanied by Internet dependence. It may result in a destruction of personality equal to the same provoked by alcoholism or drug addiction. Internet dependence consists of such stages as interest, involvement, total addiction. Video games can form a stable psychological dependence increased by online gaming. The features of game mania as a variance of addictive behaviour have been described.

The most frequent problems in adolescent personal computer users are psychological state changings and neurotic disorders. Neuroemotional tension leads to a rapid overstrain formation. Prolonged computer use can cause headache, ear noise, faint, nausea, attention disorders and memory disorders. Early consequences of electromagnetic radiation consist in vegetative disfunctions, neurasthenic and asthenic syndromes, cell immuno-suppression. Visual overstrain is manifested in computer visual syndrome. Insufficient cornea moistening can cause xerophthalmus syndrome. Prolonged immobility can lead to metabolism disorders and muscular hypoxia (especially in neck, back and shoulder girdle), spinal curvature, osteochondrosis, hand pathologies. Changings in spinal column configuration can cause chest narrowing and, consequently, respiratory disorders and disorders in functional state of heart. A forced posture damages blood microcirculation (especially in pelvic organs and extremities). Computer addiction can cause alimentation disorders. Reproductive disorders can be connected with changings in nervous and endocrinous regulation. Repeated radiation provokes a decrease in pituitary activity. It has been established that electromagnetic field affects female reproductive function and spermatogenesis quality.

Mobile phones are the most current source of electromagnetic radiation used in immediate vicinity of vital organs. The influence of radio frequency energy on adolescent organism consists mostly in tissue heating (brain heating especially). Even the slightest temperature increase raises hematoencephalic barrier penetrability. A connection between adolescent behaviour disorders, cognitive changings and frequency/duration of mobile phone use has been discovered. The mobile phone addiction has been described. Screen reading and mobile game addiction cause eye overstrain and can provoke vision disorders. WHO and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified mobile phones radiation as a potential carcinogen, entering mobile phones in Group 2B as "possibly carcinogenic to humans". Estimation of phone electromagnetic field influence on children and adolescents requires a special attention.

Another source of electromagnetic radiation is represented by wireless broadband Internet technologies (Wi-Fi). Their relative recency and the absence of reliable multicenter studies require caution in Wi-Fi use in child and adolescent groups.

The paper offers guidelines to reduction of negative computer and mobile phone influence on adolescent health.

Wide adoption of mobile phones, stationary and portable computers, wireless Internet and other technological innovations requires a thorough study of their influence on a growing organism and development of efficient and applicable sanitary norms of their use. Preventive measures against formation of technological addictions in adolescents of Ukraine are necessary.

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