A woman spends up to 18 hours a day confined to a cage because she claims she is allergic to modern technology.

confined to:关在...里面

is allergic to:对... 过敏

Velma Lyrae, 51, says she can’t use a mobile phone, satnav or WiFi, or even use a hairdryer to blow dry her hair.

Instead she spends her days reading books, doing artwork and writing letters, all from the comfort of her Faraday cage

She suffers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome (EHS) which means she cannot stand to be near electromagnetic fields.

electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome:电磁波过敏症

Velma’s condition emerged with the arrival of 3G mobile phones, although she believes a previous electric shock made her more susceptible.

As a teenager Velma suffered a shock when she touched the switch of an electric fire in her bathroom. At first the symptoms were barely noticeable but they have become progressively worse over time.

Now unable to work, Velma suffers agonising head and nerve pain, memory loss, tinnitus, heart palpitations, vertigo and aching joints if she goes anywhere near technology - and is forced to spend every day in a makeshift cage in her flat in Blackheath, London.

heart palpitations:心悸

Velma made the cage herself from second hand material costing £300. A brand new cage would have cost her £800.

She claims metal fibres in the netting reflect the electro-magnetic waves and stop her from suffering EMS symptoms.

She said: 'I can’t do anything that normal people do without my symptoms showing. I have to do everything in my cage - eat, sleep, read, write.

'I always wear a shielded scarf round my head when I leave the house to protect myself from radiation signals.

'It’s made my life a living hell.'

Velma worked as a secretary for a number of firms in the 1980s but was forced to quit her job.

She said: 'Even back then I could feel a huge agitation when using the computer, but I thought it was just because I didn’t have the technological skills.

'Now I know that I was starting to feel the symptoms of my EHS.

'I don’t have a job and my social life is non-existent. My friends are very supportive but there’s only so much time you can spend with the woman that can’t go anywhere or do anything.

only so much time:只有这么多时间

'I used to love going to festivals and experiencing live music, but because everyone has a mobile I can’t even go near a gig now.

The last gig I went to was Radiohead. I knew I was getting worse and wouldn’t be able to go to any more so I wanted to make it a good one.

'It’s so sad that I can no longer do the things I enjoy.'