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13 July 2017 at 1:49PM

Are Smart Phones Bad for Your Hearing?

Marie-Josée Paul
In: Prevention

Fifteen or so years ago, cell phones were mostly used to make phone calls. These devices have since become outright appendages that begin sprouting around the age of 12. But are they dangerous for our ears? Some experts fear the answer may be yes.


According to a study published by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, the long-term use of portable phones can cause damage to the inner ear and lead to high-frequency hearing loss. This impairment is characterized by the loss of the ability to hear certain consonants, including ‘s’, ‘f’, ‘t’ and ‘z’.


Intensive Exposure

The problem is that smart phones have become daily communication tools. The favourite object of today’s youth can be used to listen to music, watch videos, make phone calls, etc. This makes for an explosive combination, according to the Association Journée Nationale de l’Audition Québec, as our hearing system is not designed to withstand such a heavy acoustic load, both in terms of intensity and duration. In other words, our hearing system has yet to adapt to our new audio practices.


Harmful Impacts

Auditory fatigue, early hearing loss, hyperacusis and tinnitus are some examples of irreversible damage that can occur. What are the warning signs? A feeling of heat in the ear, poor hearing and tinnitus. If you notice any of these signs, consult a professional without delay to assess your hearing health as well as your children’s.

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