Our Cell Phone or Mobile phones have become an extended part of our identity, we panic if it’s misplaced or is out of sight. Though the Cell Phone or Mobile Phone has made communication easier, it has increased health hazards. Various studies have confirmed that Cell Phones cause Hearing Loss.
How Do Cell Phones Cause Hearing Loss?
There are 3 main factors by which Mobile Phone is causing Hearing Loss.
1. Cell Phones Cause Hearing Loss Due To Loud Speech Or Music
We use Mobile Phones while walking on the road, travelling in buses or metros. All these situations are noisy and conversations may not be clear. The tendency is to increase the volume to hear better. The high volume damages our Hearing. Many of us listen to music or watch movies while commuting. It is very common to hear the sound spilling out of our fellow commuters headphones. This is a sign of excessive volume. We are well aware that constant exposure to loud sounds from the cell phone causes Hearing Loss.
How Does Our Ear Protect Us From Loud Sounds?
Our ear has a natural defence mechanism to protect from high volumes. The muscles in our ear contract or stiffen to reduce the sound to the inner ear and prevent damage. This muscle stiffness is temporary. The muscles in the ear relax to the normal position once the noise disappears, however scientific studies state that if the exposure to noise is for long and regular periods, the stiffness becomes permanent. If you are using your cell or Mobile Phone for more than 2 hours a day your Mobile phone is causing Hearing Loss
Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss Due To Loud Speech or Music From The Cell Phone
- Avoid listening to loud music using your cell phone or mobile phone.
- Avoid taking calls if you are in a noisy environment. If the surrounding noise is high we tend to increase the volume. Excuse yourself for a few minutes and move to a silent place.
- Make it a point to listen at the lowest possible volume, do not unnecessarily increase the volume. If you travel a lot and are in noisy places make use of noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones may be expensive, but will reduce the chances of Hearing loss caused by the high volume of the Mobile phone.
In case you are using Earbuds, ensure that the buds are the right size. Loose or oversized buds may not fit properly reducing speech clarity.
2. Heat From Cell Phones Cause Hearing Loss
The above is a Thermal image, the areas in red colors indicate heat, the blue color shows cold areas.
The battery in our Mobile Phones heats up if the phone is being used for long. This heat is transferred to the body of the phone which is in contact with our ear. Research claims that prolonged contact with a mobile phone can raise the temperature of the head causing headaches.
The image above shows how the head heats up after prolonged Mobile Phone usage.
Tips to Protect yourself from Cell Phone Caused Hearing Loss due to Heat
- Though it’s normal for the Mobile Phone battery to heat up during use, it would help a little if we reduce the power demand on the battery.
- Close all applications except the one you are using, open Apps in the background draw power from the battery. Our talking on the phone and Apps running in the background will need a larger power from the battery which will cause heating.
- Do not use the phone while the battery is charging, it is natural for the charging circuit and the battery to heat up while charging.
- Keep the Phone a little away from your ear, if possible, talk without the Mobile Phone touching your ears.
- If your ears hurt or have gone numb due to long contact with the hot mobile phone, apply a little moisturiser and massage gently to improve blood supply to the Pinna or the soft earlobe.
3. Cell Phone Causes Hearing Loss Due To Radiation
Cell phones or Mobile Phones are wireless devices, they receive and send speech signals to the towers put up by the service providers through electromagnetic waves or radiation.
There is a constant ongoing debate about the health hazards of mobile radiation. There is no confirmation to date that mobile radiation causes cancer or tumours. Though the radiation is very small, the proximity of the mobile phone to our ears and the continuous exposure has proved beyond doubt that Cell Phones cause Hearing Loss.
Sleep disorders, nausea, dizziness and Tinnitus are other issues associated with prolonged Mobile use.
Dr Divya Prabhat, a well-known ENT surgeon from Mumbai has explained the ill-effects of continuous Mobile usage and emphasized that Mobile Phone causes Hearing Loss. The video is a must watch.
Experiment to prove that Mobile Phones are Causing Hearing Loss.
The National Institute of Health, USA conducted a research over 4 years on 3 groups of 20 people each.
Group 1 consisted of people who used the Mobile phone for more than 2 hours a day.
Group 2 consisted of people who used the Mobile phone for 10 to 20 minutes per day.
Group 3 consisted of people who did not use the Mobile phone at all.
The results clearly indicated that people in Group 1 who used the Mobile phones for more than 2 hours a day had developed a significant High-frequency Sensorineural Hearing Loss compared to people in group 1 & 2.
Tips to Protect Hearing Loss Due To Radiation From Cell Phones
- We must prevent children from using Mobile Phones unless it is unavoidable. Children’s brain absorb twice as much radiation compared to adults.
- In case you allow your children to play games on the mobile phone, ensure that the phone is in “Airplane mode”.
- Check the signal strength display on the Mobile Phone screen, weak signal means that the phone is giving out more radiation as it’s working harder to connect.
- Keep the phone as far away as possible from your head, use earbuds, Bluetooth or use speakerphone mode.
- Texting is safer than talking. If you can convey your message by texting, avoid calling.
- Avoid keeping the phone under your pillow or close to you at night. Keep it at a safe distance.
Though technology makes our life easier and increases our efficiency it does come with strings attached. We have to make a conscious effort to avoid using mobile phones unless it is unavoidable. It is a common sight to see every person carrying a mobile phone irrespective of the need. We should not hesitate to use corded phones or landlines when in the office or at home. Our ear health is of prime importance. We should not hesitate to choose our personal health over lifestyle statements.