Is it Possible to Be Allergic to Electricity?

Someone who’s allergic to electricity suffers from discomforts when exposed to electromagnetic fields. However, science hasn’t yet established whether it can be classified as an allergy or another similar condition.
Is it Possible to Be Allergic to Electricity?
Leidy Mora Molina

Reviewed and approved by the nurse Leidy Mora Molina.

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Being allergic to electricity is a topic experts don’t talk much about. Although there are many reports of this condition, it currently doesn’t have solid scientific footing. In addition, the formal diagnosis of this condition isn’t recognized.

If someone is allergic to electricity, it means that they suffer an adverse response that involves visible symptoms when they’re exposed to electromagnetic fields. They range from eye discomfort to more severe conditions.

This condition is also known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). Science hasn’t reached a consensus on this issue, as there’s contradictory evidence on the matter.

What’s electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS)?

A woman with a skin rash.

Being allergic to electricity, or suffering from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, is an intolerance to electromagnetic fields. If someone with this condition exposes themselves to them, they’ll suffer a series of symptoms that largely coincide with those that allergies cause.

Electromagnetic fields are classical fields (i.e. non-quantum), produced by the acceleration of electric charges issued by high-voltage lines, cell phones, household appliances, and wifi networks. In theory, if someone is allergic to electricity and is exposed to these fields, they’ll suffer physical or emotional discomfort.

No scientific evidence corroborates the existence of this condition. Some studies have shown that people who feel afflicted by this problem show symptoms when exposed to both real and fake electromagnetic fields.

Meanwhile, the European Commission published a report on the condition in 2015. It pointed out that there’s no evidence of people being allergic to electricity, or that electromagnetic hypersensitivity exists. However, it also states that further studies are required.

Also read: 7 Ways You Can Spend Less on Electricity

Being allergic to electricity: the symptoms

Many doctors and scientists think that the precautionary principle should be applied in these cases. This principle states that, in situations in which there’s no conclusive evidence, it’s best to accept the existence of the condition and act accordingly.

According to available and uncorroborated data, electromagnetic hypersensitivity causes chronic fatigue, recurring headache, dizziness, nervousness, tachycardia, reduced concentration, insomnia, and other similar symptoms.

Likewise, the symptoms of those who are seemingly allergic to electricity comprise three stages:

  • First stage. This is basically neurological in nature. It causes symptoms such as headache, ringing in the ears, numbness and tingling, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, digestive disorders, and tachycardia, among others.
  • Second stage. This stage causes three symptoms: chronic fatigue, insomnia, and depression. Irritability, verbal aggressiveness, and mood disorders may also occur.
  • Third stage. Children may suffer from hyperactivity and loss of interest in games and schoolwork. Teens may suffer mental and behavioral alterations. Adults may suffer delirium and pseudodementia.

An important aspect that must be taken into account is that the symptoms worsen when the patient is exposed to electromagnetic fields, but subside if it’s limited. This condition appears to worsen gradually. It has more psychological effects in children, while more neurodegenerative effects in adults.

Is there a treatment for electromagnetic hypersensitivity?

As electromagnetic hypersensitivity isn’t a recognized medical diagnosis, there’s no treatment for it either. Experts who admit the fact that people can be allergic to electricity point out that this may be due to a weak immune system or a special vulnerability to electromagnetism.

Some case reports indicate that this condition worsens progressively. Due to this, experts recommend changing some habits, such as the following:

  • Air out your house for 15 minutes, every day.
  • Replace wifi networks with wired connections.
  • Replace cordless phones with landlines.
  • Hire a specialist to detect the main sources of radiation in your home. This would allow you to make changes to reduce the exposure of the affected person.
  • Wear natural fiber garments, such as cotton or wool. Synthetic materials favor static electricity. Therefore, experts advise against them.
  • Only use your cell phone for essential tasks. Do it in open areas and use the speaker so you don’t have to bring it closer to your head.
  • Remove electrical appliances or any similar devices from your bedroom. It’s best to keep them unplugged when you’re not using them.

Ultimately, those who are allergic to electricity should expose themselves to electromagnetic fields as little as possible. In this way, it’s possible for the symptoms to subside rather than worsen.

A woman with a headache holding her cell phone.
Being allergic to electricity can cause various discomforts.

Final recommendations

Nowadays, there are electromagnetic fields everywhere. Electrical or electronic devices aren’t the only sources. In fact, these fields are all around us. The Earth has its own magnetic field. Likewise, the radiation the Sun emits every day is much higher than the amount that any cell phone antenna emits.

In view of the above, it’s virtually impossible to create “electromagnetic radiation-free” spaces. Anyhow, whether this allergy exists or not, the healthiest thing is to disconnect from electronic devices from time to time. You can take advantage of this time to enjoy nature.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.