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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 97-100

Prevalence of sensorineural deafness in habitual mobile phone users


1 Department of ENT, Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Annamalainagar, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of PG Trainee in ENT, Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Annamalainagar, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
G C Sahoo
Department of ENT, Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Annamalainagar, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-7749.91182

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Introduction : Mobile phone usage is widespread and concerns have been raised on the safety of its long-term usage. The electromagnetic fields emitted from mobile can penetrate skull and deposit energy 4-6 cm into the brain resulting in heating of the tissue. In this study, we explore a possible relationship between prolonged mobile phone usage and sensorineural deafness. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in a medical college situated in rural India. A total of 100 persons between the age group of 20-45years using mobile phone for at least 5 years are selected and screened for sensorineural deafness. Use of cellular phones was assessed by a questionnaire. Mean number of daily calls and minutes were asked for to calculate the cumulative use in hours for all years. The most frequently used ear during cellular phone calls was noted, or whether both ears were used equally. Otoscopic examinations were performed by an otolaryngologist before testing in order to rule out any external or middle ear pathology that could affect audiometric measurements. The hearing levels of subjects were tested using pure tone audiometry. Results : One hundred subjects who are habitual mobile phone users were screened by pure tone audiometry. It is found that the prevalence of sensorineural deafness was 3% and there is a linear relationship between the duration of mobile phone use and the degree of the severity of deafness. Conclusion : The prevalence of sensorineural deafness in our study in habitual mobile users is 3%. It is not clearly known whether mobile phone use is the direct cause of deafness in these subjects but the absence of other causes might point towards its etiological role.


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