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Can computer use make symptoms worse?

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by Ivana, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Ivana

    Ivana Senior Member

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    Hi all,

    Strange question- can computer use make symptoms worse? I find that my neurological symptoms are worse after I've been on the comp, and I need to sleep more. Is this normal? Anything that can treat it? I wear sunglasses whilst on the computer, but still, not much help.

    Best wishes,
    Ivana
  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Hi Ivana - just to say comp use for me never made ME symptoms worse - yes tired like any over mental activity if pursued too long in any one stretch just like over physical exertions. In fact coming out of the very worst of ME I found it a great help in ordering my thoughts, thinking speeds and vocabulary over time. Just don't overdo anything and stop when more than usual tiredness sets in.......it was all I could do anyway.
  3. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    It has two effects on me that I'm sure of.

    1. If I use a computer in the evening without putting on orange-tinted glasses first (darkness therapy), it keeps me awake, often until unholy o' clock in the morning.

    2. I can end up with hand and wrist pain problems, specifically diagnosed as RSI, if I overdo it on the typing front. Come to that, there can be other postural problems depending on how I sit and what equipment I use, but the hands are the main one.

    There may be other problems that I'm not aware of.

    What colour sunglasses are you using? Do you find in general that you can be light-sensitive, for instance with fluorescent/strip lighting?
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    three reasons why I think computer can make this worst..

    1/ Many of us have some EMF sensitivity
    2/ Computer is brain work so one can get an overall all symptom worsening from the exertion of it
    3/ Many use computers while upright.. so OI can be an issue even if sitting
  5. Ivana

    Ivana Senior Member

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    thank you,all! Tania, whats EMF sensitivity? Im not familiar with that.
    Calathea, i wear normal sunshades, light brown in colour, but yes i am veryyyyyy photophobic.. My pupils even move so i have to wear sunglasses all the time.
  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    EMF = Electromagnetic Field/Frequency Sensitivity. eg radiation given off by electrical things. This can be a symptom of ME.
  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Would you be able to adjust the settings for your monitor, rather than wear sunglasses?

    I often find that the light of the monitor hurts my eyes/head, but using a keyboard in the gloom might be bad for eye-strain too.

    It's generally suggested that people take short breaks from PC use every half hour or so.

    I also find that spending time on reading, looking at things close to my face, etc, can make me feel worse. Maybe eye strain? Maybe a visual thing that plays tricks on the brain?

    With all activity I think it's best to occasionally take a break, relax, and think 'do I really feel like doing more of this?' The limitations of CFS, along with many of the prejudices which surround the diagnosis, make it really tempting to push well past the levels of fatigue at which people would normally stop, and I'm not sure how healthy this is.
  8. Ivana

    Ivana Senior Member

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    Thanks, girls.
    Esther, ur right about about the pushing.. I tend to do it just to feel 'normal.' i have to wear sunglasses all the time, my monitor is already on the darkest it can be. Without glasses, my vision and 'brain moving in head' feeling is bad.. Yesterday we had an earthquake and i didnt even realise coz i thought it was my blurry vision/brain and not the objects actually moving :(
  9. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Ivana - i had always believed that computer use or any brian use making ones symptoms worse was part and parcel of M.E. Two years ago i could onyl manage 5 minutes at a time on the computer without feeling completely wiped out. Now i can sit on it for an hour or more (although my brain often hurts afterwards.)
    It is all just energy draining.

    I know some dont have this mental fatigue problem as pronounced as other problems - i dont know what makes the difference between us. It cant just be severity because i have known PWME who were bedbound but could work on a computer all day without problems (possible bedbound becuase of POTS rather than severe M.E)
    All the best, Justy.
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I would like to expand on point two. I used to use a computer for a living. I developed widespread pain, even with ergonomic furniture. That pain persisted for fifteen years after I stopped heavy computer use, and then slowly faded. To this day if I do too much it comes back. Pain is a sign to stop.

    The problem is persistent energy demand. This can be from the muscles in the hand or wrist as Calathea noted. It however can be in postural muscles including shoulder, back etc. Static stress is almost as bad as continual muscle usage. We just can't handle it. Pace computer use, rest, get up if you can and walk a few paces. Don't keep the same stress on muscles for hour after hour. If pain sets in long term, you may need to aggressively avoid the computer use that aggravates it.

    Bye, Alex
  11. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

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    I am electrosensitive, and computers do in me unless I am earthed when I use them. I use an earthing product, it helps. I also have neck and back issues, and alex is absolutely right re avoidance if necessary.

    good luck
  12. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Here are a couple of free bits of software which have helped me, incidentally.

    Stretchclock - a little timer reminds you every hour (or whatever you set it to) to go to a website which will run you through a 1-2 min stretch. These stretches are designed for office workers, so that they tackle the appropriate postural problems, and I've found that they're almost all very easy for us. You can always do fewer repetitions if need be.

    Activity Timer - little gadget which times how long you spend typing every day. Can be a bit iffy, but pretty much does the job. I find there's a clear correlation between how much time I spend using the computer and how bad my hand pain is. Simply being aware of my computer usage time helps me keep it in check.

    I also have problems with hand pain if I spend too much time quilting. For that, I use a simple handheld stopwatch. Since I use the computer far more, I find that something which does the job automatically works better.

    There are bits of break reminder software out there as well, but personally I found them too annoying and stopped using them. They are worth a try to see if you get on with them.
  13. Ivana

    Ivana Senior Member

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    sorry, what is an earthing product? I find that comp use makes me yawn heaps and then i have to sleep. Once i get up,i'm still really drowsy.. It wasnt like this til a few weeks ago when i started developing cytokine storms
  14. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I know that for me personally, computer use is one of those things that drains me out MUCH faster than others. I'm not sure if it's the electronics themselves, though, or just the kinds of thinking I tend to try to do while using them. Either way, I definitely get spine/neck/head discomfort and my other cues of mental overexertion much more often from the computer, and they seem to come on much faster than when doing many other things (e.g. reading).
    justy likes this.
  15. INKY

    INKY Inky

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    Electonics plastics have been cited as giving off Organo-phosphate fumes upon warming, I suspect included to stop any creepy crawlies nesting or walking , so ventilation would be wise.
    As to stress and confusion as a new computer user, to begin with I found it to be a form fillers nightmare, so much on the screen expecting a response. Close to panic, it eases but I don't believe it goes completely, sitting up uses a deal of musculature and there is a tendency to become rigid in one position.
    With me the electro sensitivity was reversed, if I over exert I go beyond being hobbly into what I used to call wobblytot,
    I tried repeatedly describing this to Doctors, but a bit reluctant to mention muscles are hearing and reacting to sound, when already in the loony bag. In 98 a Doctor saw me totter across his waiting room and told me it was Tetany
    (Hypoparathyroidism) and apparently serious. When in Tetany i found at supermarket tills the teller would ring bell for manager as till had stopped, I noticed by standing away about three feet the till resumed. I got quite paranoid about it, and would keep my distance. Then I noticed it was occuring where the computer was behind counter in Council offices,
    met with disbeleif a number of times, which I would prove by stepping closer, some were quite amusing.
    I noticed when anyone using a mobile sitting beside me, they seemed to have problems, but as I didn't use one I hoped I wasnt affecting it.
    In 05 I bought a cheap mobile to keep in touch with a friend, it was fine to begin with, but then i went into Tetany and just couldn't get through or make it work. A youngster in the house assumed I was a fossil technophobe and insisted on giving me a lesson on how to use it. Passing it back to me having only the call button to push, which I did showing I wasn't pushing any others . It started scrolling numbers then turned itself off.
    Of course it was my cheap phone, so he got his top of the range Nokia, and set it up the same, to the same result which he said was impossible.
    ATMs do not seem to be affected but I was severely worried when told Benefit had to be paid through one and no longer at Post Office with the pension type book.
    I learned that Tetany can be stopped with high doses of Vit.D, and since 06 have used Evaporated Milk which gives me about four times RDA. A few years ago giving a statement to a Council Officer, I suggested sitting away from her computer just as a precaution. She said " I bet you can't wear a wrist watch neither." I've not worn one for forty years
    after a frustrated Jeweller had me return several after a few days and going up in quality each time. He said some people just cannot wear them.
    A couple of years ago there was a News item of a kid in the States who when ever he went into the school's computer room , he stoppped them all, and they were trying to find a way to earth him.
  16. INKY

    INKY Inky

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    Ivana, it is possible to get thin films / plastic sheet in neutral density and filter colours which could tone down the screen.
    Theatre suppliers used to sell for lighting purposes, if not then in perspex.
  17. Ivana

    Ivana Senior Member

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    Hi Inky,

    Thanks for that. What is a theatre supply store? I don't go anywhere so I don't know what that it. Also, what is earthing?

    Ivy.
  18. INKY

    INKY Inky

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    Ivy, 'allo theatre supply store, those that supply allsorts for film and theatre productions, I used to use Brodie and Middleton near Covent Garden in London for scene painter's stuff. The coloured plastic film used to be called gels used in front of studio and theatre lights, there were greatly more expensive versions which were made for putting in front of film camera lenses.
    I don't know where you are but I imagine the easiest option would be a firm supplying Perspex,' Acrylic' , I think is called in States plastic rigid sheet. Such suppliers have samples to look through so you could test against a vid screen, as to colour and effect.
    As to ''earthing '' I havn't a clue as to how might be acheived, it used to be done in some industries to avoid static flashes where powder could be explosive such as grain stores, chemical silos etc..
  19. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Hi Inky!

    Your posts are very interesting but I'd bet that a lot of people are missing reading them just cause of lack of formatting. Many will open a post like above, take one look at close it, just because their brains can't deal with posts that don't have a lot of "white space."

    Many of us need very short paragraphs (2 or 3 lines) with space in between, in order to read them. I am posting this in the computer-use thread as it is a big issue on computers.

    Thanks!
    Sushi
  20. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Yes, you can change the color temperature, to remove a lot of blue. But it's not as good as the glasses apparently.

    For computer use, they have special colored glasses. Normal sunglasses would not filter the same.

    Yes if you just put a double enter after most lines, that helps a lot.

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