With flu season under way, the push is on for people to get the flu vaccine, which raises anxiety among people with fear of needles.
Trypanophobia is the extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles. People who suffer from this phobia fear the sight, thought, or feeling of needles or needle-like objects. The primary symptom is vasovagal syncope, or fainting due to a drop in blood pressure and heart rate. Inherited and learned, needle phobia in fact affects at least 10 percent of the population, although experts believe there are many more who don’t actually know they have a phobia.
Dr. David H. Barlow, a former professor of psychology, founder and director emeritus of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University expressed:
“No one likes needles, but it’s when it becomes impairing that it becomes a phobia.”
“Injections are very important, and for a child to refuse inoculation it can become impairing and should be treated.”
There are options for those looking for a less painful remedy. The Fluzone intradermal, a short-needle flu shot, is less than a tenth of an inch long and the width of a human hair, compared to the one and a half inches in length the standard shot has. It also injects into the skin, as opposed to the muscle, eliminating the aching feeling that can be experienced up to two days after receiving the injection.
However, Fluzone intradermal is not for everyone — children can use the new nasal-spray vaccine, LAIV, while adults over the age of 64 still have to rely on the standard needle.
Consult your family practitioner what he recommends for you. Schedule an appointment on Vitals.com