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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 15  |  Page : 31-35

Self-reported ear symptoms among mobile phone users at a tertiary institution

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital/Bayero University Kano, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Auwal Adamu
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nnjcr.nnjcr_2_19

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Background: Globally, the use of mobile phones has increased considerably and as such there have been increasing concern about its effects on the ear. It was observed that university students used mobile phones excessively not only for communication purpose but also for leisure (such as listening to music/radio), thus possibly predisposing their ears to untoward effects. Aims: The aim was to determine the prevalence of self-reported ear symptoms among mobile phone users. Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional descriptive study, conducted among university students aged 16–40 years. Participants were recruited using multistage random sampling technique. A self-administered, pretested, and validated questionnaire was used to collect the data, which were analyzed using Statistical Product and Service Solution version 20.0. Results: A total of 388 participants were recruited into the study. The duration of usage of mobile phone ranged between 1 and 17 years with a mean of 7 ± 3.5 years. The time spent on phone use per day ranged between 1 and 16 h with a mean of 2.6 ± 2.3 h. The overall prevalence of self-reported ear symptoms was 29.1%. Eighty-four (21.6%) of the respondents had ear pain, 68 (17.5%) had tinnitus, 44 (11.3%) had hearing impairment, 20 (5.2%) had vertigo, and 38 (9.8%) had other symptoms. The self-reported ear symptoms were found to have a statistically significant association with the time spent on the phone per day (P = 0.001) and the duration of use of the phone in years (P = 0.001). Conclusions: The prevalence of self-reported ear symptoms among mobile phone users was low. More detailed studies on the association between mobile phone use and ear symptoms, particularly tinnitus and hearing impairment would be worthwhile.

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