Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prolonged mobile phone use may be linked to tinnitus

Date:
July 20, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Regularly using a mobile phone for at least four years seems to be associated with a doubling in the risk of developing chronic tinnitus (persistent ringing/roaring/hissing in the ear), indicates a small study.

Regularly using a mobile phone for at least four years seems to be associated with a doubling in the risk of developing chronic tinnitus (persistent ringing/roaring/hissing in the ear), indicates a small study published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The prevalence of chronic tinnitus is increasing, and is currently around 10 to 15% in the developed world, say the authors. There are currently few treatment options.

And while there are some obvious triggers, such as ear disorders and head trauma, there are few known risk factors or clear explanations for this trend. The high microwave energy produced by mobile phones during use has been suggested as a possible culprit, but there has been no hard evidence to date.

The authors compared 100 patients who required treatment for chronic tinnitus, defined as lasting at least three months, with 100 randomly selected people without the disorder, but matched for age and sex, over a period of a year (2003-4).

Any patient with ear disease, noise induced impaired hearing, high blood pressure, or who was on medication known to boost the risk of tinnitus was excluded from the study.

All participants were then quizzed about the type of phone they used, and where, as mobile phone output tends to be stronger in rural areas. They were also asked about the intensity and duration of calls, ear preference, and use of hand held devices.

Most tinnitus was one sided, with the left side accounting for 38 cases. A similar number of patients described it as distressing 'most of the time.' More than one in four (29%) also had associated vertigo.

Virtually all the participants were mobile users, but only 84 patients and 78 in the comparison group were using a mobile when symptoms first appeared. Some 17 patients and 12 of their peers had been using a mobile for less than a year at that time.

Analysis of the results showed that the patients who had used a mobile before the onset of tinnitus were 37% more likely to have the condition than those in the comparison group. Those who used their mobiles for an average of 10 minutes a day were 71% more likely to have the condition.

Most people used their phones on both ears, and those who had used a mobile for four years or more were twice as likely to have tinnitus compared with those in the comparison group.

The authors accept that people are likely to over/underestimate their mobile phone usage and the length of calls. But they caution: "Considering all potential biases and confounders, it is unlikely that the increased risk of tinnitus from prolonged mobile phone use obtained in this study is spurious."

They suggest that there is a plausible explanation for a potential link between mobile phones and tinnitus as the cochlea and the auditory pathway directly absorb a considerable amount of energy emitted by a mobile.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H.-P. Hutter, H. Moshammer, P. Wallner, M. Cartellieri, D.-M. Denk-Linnert, M. Katzinger, K. Ehrenberger, M. Kundi. Tinnitus and mobile phone use. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1136/oem.2009.048116

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Prolonged mobile phone use may be linked to tinnitus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719205636.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, July 20). Prolonged mobile phone use may be linked to tinnitus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719205636.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Prolonged mobile phone use may be linked to tinnitus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719205636.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins