Not even a few hours right!

Our mobile phones have become like an appendage now. Its like this ever present magical accessory the Hindu mythological characters are never seen without, Gada (mace) of Hanuman, trishul (trident) of Lord Shiva, sudarshan chakra (spinning disc) of Lord Krishna and so on.

A matter of concern though, is the effect of this “magical”device, the cell phone radiation. This has been an issue of long standing debate. It has now been established that exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones may lead to hazardous effects after long and repeated exposure. The rate at which this electromagnetic field's energy gets absorbed is known as SAR (specific absorption rate), this rate in an organism depends on many factors, including the frequency of electromagnetic fields, composition of exposed tissue (for example, bone, with a lower water content, absorbs less energy than muscle), shape and size of the object and closeness of the source.

A study published by IIT-Bombay's department of electrical engineering in 2011 determined that people using cell phones for more than 30 minutes a day for more than four years are at a higher risk of hearing loss. Also, cell phone radiation can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and damage the auditory hair cells present in the inner ear causing a hearing loss. Once damaged, these cells can never regenerate.

Hearing loss most commonly associated with mobile phone usage is high frequency loss. If you cannot hear the sounds of the consonants f, s, t and z i.e. high pitched sounds and have difficulty understanding speech in noise, chances are, you are suffering from high frequency hearing loss. Most healthy people are not aware that they suffer from high frequency hearing loss, which is very common. Therefore, look out for symptoms such as these and have regular hearing check-up from an audiologist, since it is better to be safe than sorry!

Mobile phone users may benefit by limiting the periods and use of mobile phones for essential purposes. SMS rather than making calls. Use of hands free devices and other protective devices has always been encouraged. Also, find out the SAR level of mobile phones and use mobile phones with low electromagnetic field emissions.