Monday, May 13, 2013

Doctors report 50% hearing loss among cellphone users

Times of India - May 13, 2013

MUMBAI: Excessive use of cellphones can cause the deadliest of health hazards among users, from hearing loss to neuro-endocrine disruption, hormonal imbalance and cancer.

Over the last decade, cellular phone usage has grown exponentially with the introduction of new communication systems and newer and smaller phone models. But it is a mark of how much people use cellphones these days, that doctors report as much as a 50% hearing loss among users.

Dr Divya Prabhat, ENT surgeon with Bhatia and Wadia hospitals, said he had been getting many patients who complain of pain in the ears and even hearing loss.

"The most common complaint is that after they hang up, the ears get hot. Many patients come with complaints of tinnitus, where there is a buzzing in the ears. This also results in irritability and lack of concentration," he said.

But the most serious ENT problem is hearing loss. "I recently got a 45-year-old patient who had 30% hearing loss in her right ear, as she would be on phone all the time. When I told her to talk on the phone with the left ear, three months later she came with a 50% hearing loss in the left ear," Dr Prab-hat said.

These are temporary threshold shifts, he said, meaning that these problems can be cured, when the habit is changed early. But if a person continues to use the phone excessively, it may turn into a permanent problem.

Prolonged cellphone radiation is said to cause cancer. In a study published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of India in 2008, endocrinologist Dr Shashank Joshi, along with other doctors, had shown how electromagnetic rays from a cellphone cause neuro-endocrine disruption. "Apart from cancer caused by radiation, the cell phone culture increases sedentary work habits. It also reduces sleep time. This causes blood pressure, diabetes, and cardio-vascular diseases," said Dr Joshi.

Doctors say the gadget addiction also leads to hormonal imbalance. "Hormones like endocrine and melatonine are disrupted big time by excessive cell phone usage. There may be a discharge of negative hormones because of anticipation of a negative call. This tends to increase stress in a person," said Dr Joshi.
It is good, therefore, to decrease talking over the mobile phone, and use a landline or texting, said Dr Joshi.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Doctors-report-50-hearing-loss-among-cellphone-users/articleshow/20021776.cms

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