Prevention is better than cure: Expert warns against prolonged use of phone earpiece

Prof. Titus Ibekwe, Consultant Surgeon, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, has warned that cell phone addiction causes noise induced hearing loss.

Ibekwe gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

He noted that this adverse effect was common especially among young persons.

Ibekwe, who is also the National Secretary of Otorhinolaryngological Society of Nigeria, noted that often time youths use the gadget to play music using ear piece for a very prolong time.

According to him, prolonged use of ear piece to listen to music or any other sound from the phone completely obstruct the ear canal and do not allow escape of those sounds.

The ENT expert who described the practice as very common and fashionable among the youth, emphasised that some even go to bed with ear piece for as long as six to seven hours, or while working.

He condemned such addiction, describing it as unhealthy.

“If you must listen to music or other sound you should use the ear phone within a short period which is safer than the smaller ones which pin into the eye canal.

“It is a common and fashionable practice among youths, we realised that some of them wear ear piece while sleeping or doing some work for as long as six to seven hours, even some wear it while crossing the express road.

“This can lead to noise induced hearing loss and the problem with this type of hearing loss is that rehabilitation and treatment is almost not available. It is very difficult to manage.

“There are lots of person or established cases of noise induced hearing loss due to addiction of cell phones.

“Most at times we find out in the patient that hearing loss is the particular ear they often use in answering calls like the left side,” he also noted.

The consultant lamented that many children and youths were so obsessed with cell phones thereby using it to play games, watch films or other entertainment for hours rather than utilising the recreational aspect embedded in it.

Ibekwe, who likened such addiction to any other addictions like drugs, smoking of cigarettes, Indian hemp or other substances, decried that a lot of adolescents were so addicted to the extent of dependency.

“Noise can stimulate the neuroendocrine system leading to excessive release of cortisol and cathecolamines which aggravates cardiovascular diseases.

“So, those that are predisposed to hypertension and stroke are worst of over too much exposure to noise,” Ibekwe stated.

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