A study on the effect of prolonged mobile phone use on pure tone audiometry thresholds of medical students of Sikkim

J Postgrad Med. Oct-Dec 2017;63(4):221-225. doi: 10.4103/0022-3859.201419.


Introduction: Mobile phones have become indispensable for daily activities, and people are exposed to them from an early age. There is, however, concern about the harmful effect of the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the mobile phones.

Objective: The objective of the study was to study the effect of mobile phone on average pure tone audiometry (PTA) threshold of the person and to study the changes in the pure tone threshold at high frequencies such as 2 kHz, 4 kHz, and 8 kHz among the students with prolonged exposure to mobile phones.

Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the medical students who have been using mobile phones for the past 5 years. The effect of mobile phones on the PTA threshold in the exposed ear and the nonexposed ear was assessed.

Results: The study shows that there is a significant difference in average air conduction (AC) and bone conduction (BC) hearing threshold among the exposed and the nonexposed ears (P < 0.05). A significant rise of both AC and BC threshold at individual frequencies between the exposed and the nonexposed ear is also noted in this study.

Conclusion: The study conducted shows changes in the hearing threshold of the exposed ear when compared with the nonexposed ear. There are however lot of unanswered questions which provide an interesting avenue for further research. Till concrete evidence is available the only feasible way to control its exposure is to limit the duration of usage of mobile phones.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone*
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology*
  • Cell Phone Use / adverse effects*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Electromagnetic Radiation*
  • Female
  • Hearing / physiology
  • Hearing / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Students, Medical*
  • Young Adult