We all know that excessive gambling can lead to addiction. There’s no point beating around the bush, as to do so would be irresponsible and counterproductive.
Gambling addiction is a topic that needs to be talked about openly, in order to protect those at risk from potential harm.
But what’s overlooked by most (if not all) regular casino attendees is how excessive gambling can also be hazardous to your health in other ways. Not just in terms of the psychological effects of OTT gambling, but the way it can take a toll on your body.
On the plus side, each and every one of the health hazards of casino gaming outlined below is completely preventable. Just as is the case with gambling addiction, it’s simply a case of keeping tabs on your habits, and not taking things too far.
And just for the record, the answer is yes – some of the ailments below also apply to online casino gaming.
Without further ado, here are six ways casino games can be hazardous to your health (and how to make sure you don’t fall victim to any of them):
1 – Posture Problems and Pains
First up, the single most likely ailment you’re likely to encounter as a committed gambler is back pain. Irrespective of whether you spend your time standing at the craps table or sitting in front of a slot machine, economics and posture tend to go out of the window.
The thing is, all risks regarding potential back pains and posture issues can be eliminated with relative ease. You simply have to take regular breaks, while ensuring you sit and stand in a position that is genuinely comfortable. Head away from the games and take walks on occasion, while calling it quits entirely if you start feeling any real discomfort.
If you find yourself reaching for a pack of paracetamol, it’s time to give it a rest for a good while.
2 – Wrist Pain and CTS
Irrespective of whether you play online or in person, you’ll almost certainly subject your hands and wrists to some serious punishment. Fiddling with a keyboard and mouse, tapping a smartphone touchscreen, holding onto the cards in your hand for dear life – all perfect recipes for wrist pain, if not carpal tunnel syndrome.
Research suggests that gamblers routinely experience feelings of numbness, tingling and stiffness around the wrists. Though in most cases, they do nothing about it, until it becomes genuinely painful.
As with most things, the key to keeping your hands and wrists healthy lies in preventing issues like these from occurring in the first place.
3 – A Passive Smoker’s Cough
Thankfully, this sort of thing was outlawed in the UK some time ago. But if you head out to a casino in almost any other part of the world, you could find yourself surrounded by a collective of chain-smokers.
Even where there is some degree of separation between smoking and non-smoking sections, it really makes little to no difference. The moment you walk into a casino where smoking is permitted, the stench hits you like a ton of bricks.
The dangers of passive smoking are well documented, but this does is nothing to quell the appetites for nicotine of those concerned. Worse still, these are also other types of places people head with ridiculously oversized cigars, simply to strut around in an attempt to look sophisticated.
Frankly, if it’s a casino that permits smoking and you’re or non-smoker, you’d be better off taking your business elsewhere.
4 – Eye Strain
Staring at flashing lights and bright colours for any period of time can take its toll on your eyes. When playing games in a casino, you naturally find yourself having to pay super-close attention to everything you do, putting their eyes through their paces.
Thankfully, most issues associated with eye strain are temporary. Hit the casino for a few hours and your eyes will probably feel tired, dry and generally not at their best. All of which will naturally be reversed as they rest and repair themselves over time.
Still, it is possible to take things too far and so do your eyes more serious damage. For obvious reasons, staring continuously at a smartphone screen or super-flashy slot for 8 hours a day is not a good idea. Though if you’re gambling on this kind of level, you could probably do with taking a step back from the whole thing entirely.
5 – Tiredness
Admittedly, tiredness isn’t what you’d call a genuine ‘ailment’ in the conventional sense. Maybe so, but it is by far one of the most common side-effects associated with gambling.
The excitement and adrenalin that accompanies gambling can be quite exhausting. The more intense and prolonged the encounter, the more likely you are to leave feeling absolutely worn out.
Unfortunately, tiredness is a recipe for making terrible decisions at the tables. If and when you find yourself flagging for any reason, it’s essential to give yourself time to rest and recharge.
6 – Headaches
Last up, the environment in a casino is designed to be distracting and disorienting for a good reason. The greater the distraction hand separation from the real world, the higher the likelihood you will stick around for longer. All well and good, but the whole thing does have a tendency to add up to one serious sensory overload.
There’s only so much stimulation you can throw at your brain before it needs a break. Pushed things too far and you’re almost guaranteed to walk away with one serious headache. Again, this isn’t the type of thing that’s going to cause you any long-term damage. But it should at least prompt questions as to how much time you spend gambling, and whether you could benefit by reeling things in somewhat.
As before, if you find yourself regularly reaching for painkillers, there’s probably something about your gambling habits that could do with a rethink.
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