Doctors warn about dangers of binge watching - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Doctors warn about dangers of binge watching

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Doctors are warning viewers on the major health risks with binge watching television. (WFSB) Doctors are warning viewers on the major health risks with binge watching television. (WFSB)

Doctors are warning viewers on the major health risks with binge watching.

Several of Netflix's top shows have just released their latest seasons, which means many Americans will be parking themselves on the couch to watch back-to-back episodes.

Binge watching is a practice where viewers watch an entire season of their favorite show on their couch in a day's sitting.  

Doctors said most people do not know about the health risks, including blood clots, associated with binge watching.

“It's an acute event,” Dr. Matthew Teiger, of Saint Francis Hospital, said. “It happens within seconds or minutes.”

Teiger said blood clots can happen to anyone at anytime.

“It's not just the older, infirmed patient,” Teiger said. “Young, healthy people are susceptible.”

According to researchers at Japan's Osaka University, watching more than five hours of television could increase of developing deadly blood clots, six times more than your average person.

"The blood clot starts in your leg because of inactivity,” Teiger said. “It breaks off. It travels to your lung and it stops blood circulation.”

Blood clots could ultimately lead to sudden death.

“Fifty percent of blood clots in the leg are silent,” Teiger said. “So you can have a significant blood clot in your deep veins, not be aware of it.”

Teiger said symptoms include but are not limited to “an immediate sensation of shortness of breath.”

“Ninety percent of time and something is wrong with your breathing,” Teiger said. “You’re gasping for breath. The other symptom is chest pain.”

Unfortunately, these are symptoms that many patients tend to ignore, instead of going to see a doctor.

 Those who are more susceptible to developing blood clots include:

  • trauma patients
  • those experiencing prolonged immobility
  • older people with bad circulation
  • women on birth control pills.

Regardless of whether people fall under one of these categories, they should keep their circulation moving to lower their risk of developing blood clots.

“Just getting up...getting up on your toes...stretching…makes a big difference; wiggling your toes while you're sitting,” Teiger said.

It may be a good idea to cut down your time in front of the tube.

“Who's going to say no to watching longtime T.V. because everyone does it and it's enjoyable,” Teiger said. “But you have to have balance in your life.”

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