Mobile phone use has increased exponentially over the past decade, and medical professionals are concerned that this may be the cause of widespread hearing loss.
According to a recent study, talking on a mobile phone for more than one hour each day could result in permanent damage, such as high-frequency hearing loss. Those with high-frequency hearing loss are unable to hear higher-pitched sounds, which can make understanding speech quite difficult. Mobile phone use can also cause tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.
The study found that it was not necessarily volume causing this hearing loss, but rather the electromagnetic waves emitted by the phone which damaged the ear.
Often hearing loss caused by mobile phone use is temporary and can be cured by changing your mobile phone use habits, however, holding long conversations on your mobile phone on an ongoing basis could cause permanent damage.
It has also been speculated that prolonged exposure to mobile phone radiation could cause cancer. Other studies have shown that mobile phones reduce sleep time, which can increase your chances of high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So what can you do to ensure your hearing is safe? Start by checking the volume at which you take your calls or listen to music. If it’s up too high, you could be causing damage. If you can’t hear calls at a lower volume in a quiet room, then you may need to get your hearing checked.
After reducing your volume, try using the speaker or hands-free option when making a call. This puts some distance between the radiation your phone emits and your ear canal. Another option is to use a set of headphones with an inbuilt microphone. While this will help to move the phone further away from your ears, it is worth noting that loud in-ear headphones can also cause hearing damage, so be aware of your volume. You might also like to try using the landline more often, or to give your thumbs a workout by texting rather than calling.
Read more about mobile phones and hearing loss at the India Times website.
Watch this video on the damage caused by mobile phones.