In this digital world, seeing phones, tablets, and a cell tower every mile is the norm. But what if seeing all that technology caused you physical pain?
It's called electro hypersensitivity, a condition that causes pain and discomfort from being around wireless technology.
In Green Bank, West Virginia, digital is not the norm. It's one of the least populated counties in the country and is surrounded by mountains and a 480-ft-tall radio telescope at the Green Bank Observatory.
The complete peaceful opposite of the hustle and bustle of downtown Cleveland there are no cell towers and very few Wi-Fi signals. It's what's known as a radio quiet zone.
Diane Schou moved away from city life years ago to get as far away from wireless technology as possible, she told FOX 8 News. Diane, and what's estimated to be about 100 others now living in Green Bank, all claim to have Electro Hypersensitivity
The symptoms can differ from person to person. Diane gets headaches and rashes.Leo had seizures and migraines.Susan has had blisters on her toes, and can't even be around lots of electricity, which is why the power was shut off for a group dinner at Diane's house.
Because of location and radio quiet zone, Green Bank is the only place in the world that has given this group relief.
But is EHS a REAL medical condition. In Sweden, EHS is an officially recognized functional impairment.
Just this year, a state agency in Maryland recommended schools go to wired internet service for students instead of Wi-Fi because of concerns for children's health and development. Those affected say living in Green Bank has reduced their symptoms, but they still can't find anyone who can explain why it's happening to them.
Diane has shelves upon shelves of research detailing the growing awareness of EHS. She and her friends, whose numbers are growing weekly in the small town of Green Bank, feel eventually their condition will be recognized.
In the meantime, they will continue to spread the world about EHS, but from the safe confines of a rural West Virginia county, protected from Wi-Fi thanks to – of all things – a radio telescope.