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Mobile phone gives man stroke

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A psychiatrist almost died because he held his telephone in the wrong position, doctors said yesterday. The 43-year-old Frenchman suffered a stroke after talking to a patient for over an hour with the phone receiver held between his ear and shoulder. Shortly after the call, he experienced temporary blindness in his left eye, a ringing in his left ear and had difficulty speaking, the Daily Telegraph reports.

A scan revealed a tear in the wall of the internal carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain. A thin pointed bone between the ear and jaw called the styloid process had come into contact with the artery. In this case the bone was longer than usual.

Dr Mathieu Zuber, a neurologist in Paris, said: "This case shows us that everyday activities with a prolonged distortion of the neck, such as holding the phone between your ear and shoulder, can have unpredictable consequences for some people.

"Unfortunately, there is no simple procedure to identify people with long styloid processes, but they could be occurring more frequently than was generally thought." The patient had experienced no more symptoms since the stroke. "But now he avoids holding the phone between his ear and shoulder.

Research by Surrey University has also found that tilting your head to talk into the phone for too long can result in a condition called phone neck. Holding the handset in this manner increases the risk of muscle stiffening, inflammation of tendons and disc troubles. ®

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