A fear of needles is a surprisingly common fear affecting approximately 21 percent of the American population and it is estimated that 10 percent of the worldwide population has a debilitating phobia to needles. It’s one thing to dislike needless, most sane people probably share this common distaste, however it is another thing altogether to have an irrationally intense fear of needles. A needle phobia is no laughing matter, it can negatively impact your health in a variety of ways, and if you are afflicted with this phobia you should speak to a qualified health professional about it. If you’re not convinced that a fear of needles is really worth addressing than consider the following negative health related impacts that this fear can result in.
Fear of Needles – Avoiding Blood Tests
Blood tests are important diagnostic tools required for optimal health and many people fall victim to otherwise preventable diseases simply because they failed to have regular blood tests performed. Blood tests are necessary not only for the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease but also for diabetes, anemia, iron overload, calcium overload, thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances, certain types of cancer, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Avoiding the Flu Shot
Avoiding the flu shot may not seem all that risky if you are young and in perfect health, but if you are over 65, sick, pregnant or working in an environment where you are often in contact with the flu virus (such as a hospital or nursery school), then you are putting your health at risk.
Immunization – Fear of Needles
Measles, mumps, rubella, sure these aren’t nearly as common these days, but that is because the majority of the population has received immunization shots for them. Immunization is essential not only to your health, but to the health of the people around. Immunization is also essential if you want to drastically reduce your risk of hepatitis B, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough — all of which can be life threatening in a person with lowered immunity or a person who refuses proper treatment.
Avoid Immunization – Life and Death
If you are lucky enough to be in perfect health this won’t apply to you yet but if you suffer from diabetes, severe b12 deficiency, or cancer, avoiding injected medications is a matter of life and death. Also, if your have any major dental issues avoiding injected medication can be seriously detrimental because your dentist will need to inject your mouth with a numbing agent in order to perform major dental operations without causing you debilitating pain.
Anxiety Over the Fear of Needles
The extreme anxiety caused by a fear of needles can result in physiological changes in your body. Right before a needle is injected a phobia or extreme fear of needles can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and after the needle, a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure. These vast fluctuations results in symptoms such as light-headedness, vertigo, profuse sweating, stress, anxiety, pallor and nausea and the symptoms can last anywhere from mere seconds to hours or longer. Due to the physiological changes, fainting is also common in patients with a fear of needles.
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The fact that a needle fear or phobia can result in death may seem farfetched, but there have actually been 23 reported deaths that were directly caused by a needle phobia. What’s more, there is an innumerable amount of people who have likely died because their fear of needles caused them to avoid seeking out healthcare altogether.