Phantom ringing syndrome: an Indian perspective


  • Ajeet Kumar Khilnani Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhuj, Kutch, Gujarat, India
  • Rekha Thaddanee Department of Paediatrics, Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhuj, Kutch, Gujarat, India
  • Gurudas Khilnani Department of Pharmacology, Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhuj, Kutch, Gujarat, India



Auditory hallucinations, India, Mobile phone, Phantom ringing syndrome, Smart phone


Background: Use of smart phone, which has become an integral activity of daily life now, has begun to show subtle untoward effects on health. Various health related problems associated with electronic devices, especially smart phones, use are being studied. Phantom ringing syndrome (PRS) is one such adverse effect, which is an auditory hallucination seen in mobile phone users when they feel that their phone is ringing when it is actually not. To the best of our knowledge and literature search, we could not find any Indian study on PRS. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of PRS and to find the factors associated with it.

Methods: This was a prospective, cross-sectional online questionnaire based study, conducted in western Gujarat from July 2017 to October 2017. A 7-item validated questionnaire was sent to 800 participants, through e-mail or WhatsApp, and the responses received were analyzed using MS excel.  

Results: Out of 319 respondents, 181 (67%) were males and 89 (33%) females. The mean age of males was 31.65 (9.65) years and females was 29.96 (11.19) years. PRS was present in 54.4% of respondents. There was no significant association between presence of PRS and age of participants (p=0.855), sex of participants (p=0.5232), profession (medical vs. non-medical) (p=0.498), physical location of mobile phone (p=0.829), mode of using mobile phone (p=0.718) and duration of mobile phone use (p=0.748).

Conclusions: The prevalence rate of PRS in our study was 54.4%. PRS occurs irrespective of gender, age, profession, and physical location, duration and mode of phone use. It would be interesting to find exact site of involvement, in auditory circuit, by BERA studies.


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