Even if no causal connection to electromagnetic fields is found, the symptoms themselves are very real and we need to pay attention to that.
- To begin with, the presence of underlying disorders or unhealthy living or working conditions should be examined. When tracking problems at home that could imply a risk for the health of the residents, the physician can call for the help of the Medical Environmental Experts (MMK) in Flanders, the Service Analysis of Indoor Environments (SAMI) in Wallonia and the Green Ambulance in the Brussels Capital Region.
Not only the doctor, but also the municipal environmental service, the housing commission, a nurse or social worker can act as an intermediary. For the identification of health risks on the work floor, every employer must create an internal service for prevention and protection at work (or hire in a recognised external service).
- After the medical, psychosocial and environmental conditions have been investigated, it is necessary to treat an electromagnetically sensitive person in a personal, multidisciplinary and global manner.
- There are various therapeutic techniques suggested, of which cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has proved to be the most efficient. In cognitive behavioural therapy, patients are encouraged to question their assumptions and to look for other causes and interpretations of their symptoms. They look for ways to deal with their symptoms and if necessary, learn techniques to deal with psychosocial stress. The best results are achieved when the treatment is started in a timely fashion.
Reducing the exposure is often seen by the affected people as a solution. This, however, brings the person reporting electromagnetic sensitivity into a vicious circle, in which the existence of symptoms, the attribution of them to one source of electromagnetic fields or another and avoidance follow and support one another. Sometimes a significant amount of money is spent on measures to change the living environment.
The isolation of a person with electromagnetic hypersensitivity can be aggravated by lack of understanding in the professional and familial environments and lack of recognition by the medical world. Although there is currently no clearly outlined therapeutic treatment, it is certain that a good relationship between doctor and patient and the emotional support of people in their environment are important.
You can download all information of this section in its entirety as a PDF document (information sheet “Electromagnetic hypersensitivity”).