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Mobile use may raise tinnitus risk

Regularly using a mobile phone could increase the risk of tinnitus, experts have said.

The condition causes a noise in the ear such as a ringing, roaring or hissing sound.

Around 10% to 15% of adults have chronic tinnitus and it affects quality of life - such as preventing sleeping - in up to 3% of people.

Now experts from Austria believe there is a link between tinnitus and mobile phone use after studying 100 people with the condition.

Some 27% of the group had tinnitus in their right ear, 38% in the left and 35% in both ears.

Analysis showed that people who used a mobile phone on one ear for four years or more were almost twice as likely to develop tinnitus in that ear as those without the condition.

Meanwhile, people using a mobile for one to three years were 23% more likely and those using a mobile for more than 10 minutes a day had a 71% higher risk.

This compared to a 2% risk if they used a mobile for less than 10 minutes a day.

The authors, from the University of Vienna, said people are likely to over or underestimate their mobile phone usage and the length of calls.

But they added: "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."

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