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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-14

Mobile phones for mobility or morbidity: Is there an evidence for morbidity?

1 Department of Otolaryngology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Naresh K Panda
Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aiao.aiao_4_16

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Objectives: Potential health risks are posed by long-term electromagnetic exposure due to mobiles. This study was undertaken to assess changes in the hearing at the level of the inner ear and central auditory pathway due to chronic exposure to the electromagnetic waves from mobile phones using both global system for mobile communication (GSM) and code division multiple access (CDMA) types of mobile technology. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: A total of 321 individuals who were long-term mobile users (more than 1 year, 238 GSM and 83 CDMA) and 46 individuals who had never used mobile phones underwent investigations including pure tone audiometry (500 Hz to 16 KHz), distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs), auditory brain responses, and middle latency responses (MLR). The changes in the parameters were studied in mobile and nonmobile using ears of both GSM and CDMA individuals and corresponding ears of the controls to ascertain the effects of electromagnetic exposure. Results: GSM and CDMA users had a higher risk of having DPOAE absent as compared to controls (P = 0.000) more so if used longer during the day. They were found to have higher speech frequency thresholds and lower MLR wave Na amplitudes. More than 3 years of use emerged as a risk factor (P < 0.05). The damage was bilateral. Individuals using CDMA phones had more high-frequency loss than GSM user. The amplitudes of waves in MLR were lower in mobile phone users than nonusers. Conclusions: Long-term GSM and CDMA mobile phone use is associated with damage to the cochlea and auditory cortex.

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