Gadget addicted youngsters struggle to breathe, say docs

Mumbai has recently come under scrutiny for its unpredictable weather and pollution related smog. With smog hitting the city, it seemed obvious that the respiratory illness will go higher. Surprisingly, chest physicians in the city say that, what seems to be a menace in the youth today is anxiety induced breathlessness



If you thought asthma is triggered by pollution and smog in the city, you may be wrong. According to the city chest physicians, anxiety induced breathlessness seems to be a menace in the youth today which is commonly caused by gadget addiction.

For the 23-year-old Sneha Sharma (name changed), Mumbai has been her city of dreams. Like many, Sharma came from Uttar Pradesh to this glamorous city to fulfill her dreams. In her stay of 4 years, she has never had severe asthma attacks but this December, has been painful for her.

Since December, she has been suffering from severe breathlessness. Her visits to multiple chest physicians in the city bore no results. Finally, as she visited a famous pulmonologist from Lilavati Hospital in Bandra, only to know that her breathlessness was caused due to excessive stress.

“The trouble with Sharma was that her breathlessness and other symptoms did seem like that of a respiratory issue. Now-a-days, I do see a lot of people like that; especially among those who are working in corporates and even among young girl. Majorly, this is caused by anxiety,” said Dr Jalil Parkar, senior pulmonologist at Lilavati Hospital.

Anxiety induced breathlessness seems to be the newest cause of worry for doctors. But even this anxiety is triggered due to gadget addiction, say experts. The commonly given reason for anxiety caused by gadget addiction is that youngsters have less tolerance.

“Gadget addiction is a known cause of anxiety. The trouble with youngsters these days is that they have very low tolerance threshold. A term commonly used to explain the capacity to tolerate something. Rejection acceptance, patience and so on are clearly missing in the teens leading to anxiety. And anxiety, causes breathlessness,” said Dr Sagar Mundada, psychiatrist and youth-wing president, of Indian Medical Association (IMA)-Maharashtra Chapter.

“When I say youngsters, I mean people from 15 to 25 years of age. Commonly, they complain of breathlessness which, on a thorough examination reveals to be a case of severe anxiety. Anxiety causes breathlessness and breathlessness causes anxiety,” said Dr Aditya Agrawal, a chest specialist from Bhatia Hospital.