VIENNA, July 22 (UPI) — Prolonged cellphone use may be a potential risk factor for developing tinnitus — persistent ringing/roaring/hissing in the ears — researchers in Austria say.
Hans-Peter Hutter of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria and colleagues say the risk of tinnitus doubled after four or more years of regular cellphone use.
The study, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, indicates patients using a cellphone before the onset of tinnitus were 37 percent more likely to have the condition than those in the control group. Those using cellphone for more than an average of 10 minutes a day were 71 percent more likely to have the condition.
“Considering all potential biases and confounders, it is unlikely that the increased risk of tinnitus from prolonged mobile phone use obtained in this study is spurious,” the study authors say in statement.
The authors compared phone use during 2003 to 2004 in 100 patients being treated for chronic tinnitus vs. 100 randomly selected people, matched for age and sex, without the disorder. Those with known tinnitus risk factors — ear disease, noise induced impaired hearing, high blood pressure, or on certain medications — were excluded from the study.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.