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July 20, 2010

Regular Cell Phone Use May Cause Tinnitus

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

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.

Of course there are other studies that did not find a link between tinnitus and cell phone use like this one.

Increased risk of cancer has also been suggested with cell phone use though there is no definitive evidence to date.

Reference
Tinnitus and mobile phone use. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2010.

Cohort study on the effects of everyday life radio frequency electromagnetic field exposure on non-specific symptoms and tinnitus. Environ Int. 2012 Jan;38(1):29-36. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2011.08.002. Epub 2011 Sep 10.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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