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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-6

The effect of mobile phone usage on hearing in adult population

Department of ENT, K S Hegde Medical Academy, Deralakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Satheesh Kumar Bhandary
Dean, Professor of ENT, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte University, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-7749.199510

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Background and Objective: The widespread use of mobile phones in recent years, especially among young people, has given rise to concerns about the potential influences of its electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on human health. The present study is conducted to investigate the adverse effects of mobile phone usage on auditory functions and to study the pattern of hearing threshold in mobile phone users. Materials and Methods: The study group consisted of 150 healthy volunteers between the age group of 21 and 45 years. They were divided into three groups; Group A consists of fifty participants who were using mobile phones for more than 1 h per day, Group B consists of fifty participants who were using mobile phones for <1 h per day, (both groups for a minimum period of 4 years), and Group C consists of fifty participants who did not use mobile phones or very occasional users (<1 h per week), being taken as control group. All participants underwent tympanometry and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) tests and the results were compared among groups. Results: It is found that the prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss was seen in 10% participants of Group A and only 2% participants of Group B, but none among Group C had hearing loss, but this was statistically insignificant. The changes in DPOAEs were studied among groups and found significant difference between Group A (>1 h/day) and Group C (control group). Conclusion: The present study revealed that prolonged and frequent exposure to EMFs from mobile phone use can cause damage to the outer hair cells, especially in the basal turn of the cochlea, which can be detected by otoacoustic emission test and can subsequently lead to high frequency hearing loss.

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