10 Ways Your Phone Is Wrecking You (PHOTOS)

woman in pjs looking at her phoneYour phone's your second brain, right? It reminds you when it's time to wake up, stores your fave recipes, tells you what song's playing on the radio, and lets you watch all those gosh darn cute kitty videos at the push of a button. We know you heart your phone. But your health might not agree.

While the Food and Drug Administration insists phones are safe, they've been (no offense, FDA) wrong before. PLUS, smartphones haven't been around long enough for researchers to truly know the long-term effects they're having on our bodies and brains.

But what evidence we do have so far might make you think twice about getting rid of that landline. Here, 10 ways your phone can hurt not only your health, but your life.

 

 

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  • You're exposed to lots of germs.

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    Image via iStock.com/Manuel Faba Oretega

    Next time your baby wants to gum your iPhone -- just no. Smart phones are dirtier than toilet seats, see. TEN times dirtier. As if that's not gross enough, when you touch someone else's phone, you're getting THEIR microscopic goop on your fingers. More germs = more chances of getting sick.

  • You turn into a road risk.

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    Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University studied the brain waves of people who were simply listening to a conversation, but not talking, on their phone while they drove. That effort alone reduced their brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. How, exactly, is that bad for your health? More than a quarter of all car crashes in the US are caused by cell phone use.

  • You're more prone to skin probs.

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    Remember all that bacteria we mentioned? Well, it's getting smeared all over your face when you talk on your phone. Plus, when you press your phone against your face, you're triggering the oil glands in your skin to stimulate more sebum ... which clogs pores and causes -- you guessed it -- acne.

  • Your eyesight suffers.

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    Here's a wake-up call: More than a third of us spend four to six hours each DAY on a smartphone or other hand-held device. That bright screen and teeny-tiny font can cause something called digital eye strain. Got back or neck pain? Or headaches or blurry vision? Those are all subtle symptoms.

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  • Your stress levels go through the roof.

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    A Swedish study found that participants who reported high mobile phone use were more likely to feel stressed. Women who were glued to their phones also reported problems sleeping, while men felt more depressed.

     

  • Your relationships hit a rough patch.

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    If you start fiddling with your phone when you're face-to-face with another person, he or she is going to resent you. That's not just a common sense observation but the result of two UK studies. As soon as that phone comes out of your pocket, your approval rating -- with your partner, your parent, your child, your bestie, whoever -- takes a dive.

  • You hurt all over.

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    Your toddler might marvel at how fast Mommy can text, but hunching over your phone and furiously tap-tapping or scrolling away is bad news. And not just for your hands (think: inflamed joints) but your whole body. The more you use your phone, the likelier you are to have back pain -- especially if you cradle your phone between your neck and shoulder as you talk.

  • Your kids pay a dangerous price, too.

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    Studies have linked prenatal exposure to cell phone radiation with behavior issues -- like ADHD -- later in life. And the more time you spend on your phone once your baby is born, the more fragmented your parenting becomes. According to a new study, your phone habit could stunt your child's development and make him vulnerable to emotional problems or even alcohol/drug addiction down the road.

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  • You may find it harder to get pregnant.

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    If your husband carries his phone around in his front pants pocket, suggest he stop -- like RIGHT now. Studies have linked the radiation a phone emits with fertility issues like decreased sperm concentration and "decreased viability." In other words, "poor swimmers."

  • Your memory will take a hit.

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    Swedish researchers found that when rats were exposed to cell phone radiation two hours a week for more than a year, they did worse on memory tests than rats that weren't all radiationed up.

  • You'll start to itch.

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    Image via iStock.com/Tharakorn

    A study published in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology found that using your phone for just 30 minutes each day puts you at risk for a weird type of contact dermatitis. People who are allergic to nickel, cobalt, and chromium -- which cell phones contain -- can find themselves with dry, itchy skin patches, lesions, redness, blistering, or even OOZING on the face and ears.

  • You may be at higher risk of cancer.

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    This is a pretty divisive topic. Many international studies have found no link between cancer and wireless phones. Other studies HAVE found evidence that the radiofrequency energy cell phones emit can contribute to cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently classified radiofrequency fields as "potentially carcinogenic to humans," so if that freaks you out, use an ear piece and limit your kiddos' smartphone use.

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