01 August 2006

Hang up the phone and avoid hearing loss

Extensive use of the mobile phone may damage your hearing. Some experts warn that mobile phones should be used with care and for short periods only in order to avoid hearing loss.

The use of mobile phones and other wireless communication are becoming an almost indispensable part of modern daily life. However, the hand held devices have generated widespread controversy over whether they pose a risk to human health. The concern surrounds the risks associated with the radiation caused by the electromagnetic fields that the mobile phone emits.

Long talks harm hearing

A Turkish study investigated the possible effects on the hearing of adults from frequent and long term repeated exposure to the electromagnetic fields of mobile phones. Due to the proximity of a mobile phone to the head, and because the distance from the phone's antenna to the inner ear is only a few centimetres, the auditory system is exposed to the electromagnetic radiation. The results of the study showed that a higher degree of hearing loss is associated with intensive use of mobile phones.

The study was carried out on three groups each consisting of 20 men. The first group used their mobile phone very frequently and spoke for almost 2 hours per day. The second group used their phones for 10-20 minutes per day while the third group never used mobile phones. While short term exposure had no effect on the hearing, those people who used their mobile phones frequently had a significant difference in hearing at various frequencies, compared to those who only used their phone moderately and the nonusers.

Source: Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, vol. 25, 2006.

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