By Louis Casiano
Published December 05, 2019
You may want to put down the cellphone and switch to the speaker.
A study led by a facial plastic surgeon and published Thursday in the JAMA Otolaryngology journal found a spike in face injuries from cellphones. One case included a woman who broke her nose when she dropped her cellphone on her face.
Dr. Boris Paskhover of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School said he looked over 20 years of research data and found an increase in injuries beginning in 2006, when smartphones initially hit the market.
"Cellphone-related injuries to the head and neck have increased steeply over the recent 20-year period, with many cases resulting from distraction," the report concluded. "Although the disposition of most cases is simple, some injuries bear a risk of long-term complications."
Researchers estimated 76,000 people incurred cellphone-related injuries from 1998 to 2017. The study involved cases collected from emergency-room visits from around 100 hospitals.
Around 2,000 injuries occurred annually until 2006, when smartphones became popular.
The injuries were mostly minor -- facial cuts, bruises and fractures as a result of careless users. Many were caused by people texting while walking, tripping and landing face-down on the sidewalk.
Other injuries included people getting hit by phones thrown at them. Forty percent of those injured were ages 13 to 29, the report said.
"I love my smartphone," Paskhover said, adding that people needed to be careful not to get distracted. "People wouldn’t walk around reading a magazine."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.