Can Smartphones Cause Hearing Damage?

 

Hearing amplifiers and hearing aids are similar in the technology they use, but different in that only hearing aids are used to treat hearing loss. 

In 2021, about 4.88 billion people own cell phones which translates to approximately 63.6% of the global population. Cell phones are an excellent way to stay connected and increase productivity at work, though they could also lead to hearing damage.

While some medical professionals are skeptical, others believe cell phones pose a real threat to hearing.

Here’s an overview of the current research on cell phones and hearing loss, and how you can ensure that you prevent hearing damage.

 

The Connection Between Smartphones and Hearing Damage

One of the earliest studies of the connection between smartphones and hearing loss was published in 2007. Conducted by Naresh K. Panda, MS, DNB, chairman of the department of ear, nose, and throat at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education, this study consisted of roughly 100 people. It tested a control group of people that had never used cell phones against a group of people that had used a cell phone for two years and a group that had used cell phones for four years.

The results showed that, compared to the control group, those that used cell phones for two years had 16.48 decibel loss in high-frequency pitches while those that had used a cell phone for four years had 24.54 decibel loss.

While this study certainly raised awareness, others believed that there needed to be more evidence before jumping to conclusions.

However, in 2017, another study showed similar findings. This study compared the hearing thresholds of the exposed and unexposed ears of cell phone owners. The results showed that the ear that was exposed tended to have a much poorer hearing threshold.

While more research is needed to reach a concrete conclusion, a link may exist between smartphone usage and hearing loss. Therefore, it’s best to air on the side of caution and protect yourself from cell phone-related hearing loss.

 

How to Prevent Smartphone Hearing Damage

To prevent smartphone-related hearing damage, keep the volume to a minimum when on a phone call. If you find yourself responding loudly, the volume is likely too high.

However, hearing loss caused by cell phone use is not always volume-related. The electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones are also harmful to hearing health, so consider talking on speaker or using earbuds during calls.

As a general rule, limit your phone calls to just 60 minutes per day, and try to use text as your main communication channel.

 

When to Talk to an Audiologist

If you have to use your phone for many work-related calls and are worried about your hearing health, you can always talk to an audiologist for additional advice.

However, the first sign that you might be experiencing hearing loss is a dull ringing in your ears (known as tinnitus) after phone calls. If hearing loss has already set in, you may notice that you don’t hear high-pitched consonants such as S, F, K, Th, Sh, and Ch.

Take an online hearing test immediately if you suspect that you might be experiencing hearing loss. If you already have hearing damage, consider using hearing aids are a wonderful solution.

 

Final Thoughts

While the connection between hearing damage and cell phone usage could benefit from more research, there is enough evidence to suggest that cell phone users should be cautious.

Start by looking at your schedule and analyzing approximately how much time you spend talking on a phone each day. From there, you can make adjustments to your lifestyle and listening choices to better protect your hearing. The staff here at HearingPlanet are also happy to advise your decisions.

Can Smartphones Cause Hearing Damage?

 

Hearing amplifiers and hearing aids are similar in the technology they use, but different in that only hearing aids are used to treat hearing loss. 

In 2021, about 4.88 billion people own cell phones which translates to approximately 63.6% of the global population. Cell phones are an excellent way to stay connected and increase productivity at work, though they could also lead to hearing damage.

While some medical professionals are skeptical, others believe cell phones pose a real threat to hearing.

Here’s an overview of the current research on cell phones and hearing loss, and how you can ensure that you prevent hearing damage.

 

The Connection Between Smartphones and Hearing Damage

One of the earliest studies of the connection between smartphones and hearing loss was published in 2007. Conducted by Naresh K. Panda, MS, DNB, chairman of the department of ear, nose, and throat at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education, this study consisted of roughly 100 people. It tested a control group of people that had never used cell phones against a group of people that had used a cell phone for two years and a group that had used cell phones for four years.

The results showed that, compared to the control group, those that used cell phones for two years had 16.48 decibel loss in high-frequency pitches while those that had used a cell phone for four years had 24.54 decibel loss.

While this study certainly raised awareness, others believed that there needed to be more evidence before jumping to conclusions.

However, in 2017, another study showed similar findings. This study compared the hearing thresholds of the exposed and unexposed ears of cell phone owners. The results showed that the ear that was exposed tended to have a much poorer hearing threshold.

While more research is needed to reach a concrete conclusion, a link may exist between smartphone usage and hearing loss. Therefore, it’s best to air on the side of caution and protect yourself from cell phone-related hearing loss.

 

How to Prevent Smartphone Hearing Damage

To prevent smartphone-related hearing damage, keep the volume to a minimum when on a phone call. If you find yourself responding loudly, the volume is likely too high.

However, hearing loss caused by cell phone use is not always volume-related. The electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones are also harmful to hearing health, so consider talking on speaker or using earbuds during calls.

As a general rule, limit your phone calls to just 60 minutes per day, and try to use text as your main communication channel.

 

When to Talk to an Audiologist

If you have to use your phone for many work-related calls and are worried about your hearing health, you can always talk to an audiologist for additional advice.

However, the first sign that you might be experiencing hearing loss is a dull ringing in your ears (known as tinnitus) after phone calls. If hearing loss has already set in, you may notice that you don’t hear high-pitched consonants such as S, F, K, Th, Sh, and Ch.

Take an online hearing test immediately if you suspect that you might be experiencing hearing loss. If you already have hearing damage, consider using hearing aids are a wonderful solution.

 

Final Thoughts

While the connection between hearing damage and cell phone usage could benefit from more research, there is enough evidence to suggest that cell phone users should be cautious.

Start by looking at your schedule and analyzing approximately how much time you spend talking on a phone each day. From there, you can make adjustments to your lifestyle and listening choices to better protect your hearing. The staff here at HearingPlanet are also happy to advise your decisions.

  

  

  

Do you think you might be suffering from hearing loss? Call or chat today to talk with one of our Hearing Consultants:  

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