Effect of Electromagnetic Radiation from Mobile Phones on Auditory Brainstem Response

Author: Saurabh Varshney1,2, Sumeet Angral1, Pradeep Aggarwal3, Suresh Sharma4, Narendra Kumar5, K S B S Sasanka1, Prem Aanand1
1 Deoghar, Jharkhand 814142 India Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
2 Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249203 India Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
3 Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249203 India Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
4 Jodhpur, 342001 India College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
5 Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249203 India All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh.
Conference/Journal: Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg
Date published: 2023 Apr 1
Other: Volume ID: 75 , Issue ID: Suppl 1 , Pages: 380-392 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s12070-022-03384-8. , Word Count: 365

Mobile phones are being used by around 70% of the global population. A simple non-invasive procedure to detect early impairment of the acoustic nerve and auditory pathway is by auditory brainstem response (ABR). It's a response to the sound stimulus generated from the brainstem in the form of electrical impulses. To determine the effect of long-term usage of mobile phones on auditory brainstem responses (ABRs). This Epidemiological, cross-sectional study was undertaken at a tertiary care hospital and includes 865 individuals aged between 18 to 45 years using mobile phone for > 2 years. Users were categorized into various groups according to the minutes of mobile usage per day, years of mobile usage and total duration of mobile phone use in dominant (mobile using) and non-Dominant (non-mobile using) ears. The changes in ABR were studied in each ear to ascertain the effect of EMF exposure due to chronic mobile phone use. Mean age of subjects was 27.01 years. (M: F = 1.57:1.0). Range of mobile phone usage was from 4 to 900 min/day, with mean as 85.94 min/day. No significant differences were seen between dominant and non-dominant ears in regard to amplitudes of wave I, III and V, latencies of wave I and V and Inter peak latency (IPL) of wave I-III, III-V and I-V. No statistically significant difference for I-III, III-V and I-V IPL were found b/w two groups/ears except for usage of mobile phone for > 180 min/day in wave I-V, usage for 0-4 years in wave I-III and I-V and net hours usage for > 1500 h in wave I-V. The mean IPL in all the waves increases with the increase in years of mobile usage and is maximum in all waves in > 12 years mobile users. The long-term exposure to EMF does induce measurable changes in ABRs. Amplitude and IPLs of ABR were found comparable between the dominant and non-dominant ears using mobile phones, except for those using mobile usage for > 180 min/day and with increasing years of usage of mobile phone. Therefore, prudent use of mobile phone should be encouraged for a shorter period of time and for essential purpose only.

Keywords: ABR; Auditory pathway; BERA.

PMID: 37206726 PMCID: PMC10188679 (available on 2024-04-01) DOI: 10.1007/s12070-022-03384-8