Trypanophobia- A Fear of Needles

Asian nurse giving vaccination injection to patientStudies show that a remarkable 20 percent of the population has some degree of fear of needles or injections and 10 percent within that number suffer from what is known as Trypanophobia.  This is an excessive or irrational fear of injections or needles which can be learned or inherited. Many with Trypanophobia avoid getting medical treatment that involves the use of needles, which can prove dangerous for those with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.

The fear of needles can present or manifest in one of three ways:

1: A vasovagal reflex reaction-where a person may faint or go into convulsions during or after a needle procedure.

2:  Classic phobia- which can result from traumatic events. Symptoms may involve  feeling anxious, experiencing nausea or difficulty breathing when needles are present.

3: Hypersensitivity to the pain caused by a needle- the skin’s surface becomes extremely sensitive making procedures that involve needles uncomfortable.

There are a few things that can be done to minimize the symptoms of Trypanophobia. They are using topical anesthetics to numb the skin or avoiding the sight of needles by using covered caps. Diabetics can ask their doctor for products such as inhalable insulin or jet injectors. Lastly, individuals with a severe phobia can consider therapy. Methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may help in overcoming this fear.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.