At the Regional Hearing & Balance Center, we frequently address concerns about the compatibility of various medical devices. One question that often comes up is whether it’s safe to wear a hearing aid if you have a pacemaker. It’s an important question because both devices play essential roles in maintaining a patient’s quality of life. Let’s delve into this matter to provide some clarity.
Understanding Pacemakers and Hearing Aids
Firstly, it’s important to understand how both devices work:
- Pacemakers are small devices implanted under the skin near the heart. They use electrical impulses to regulate heartbeats.
- Hearing aids, on the other hand, amplify sounds so that individuals with hearing loss can hear more clearly.
Potential Interference Concerns
The primary concern here is electromagnetic interference (EMI). Every electronic device emits some level of EMI. There’s a chance that the EMI from one device can interfere with the functioning of another nearby device.
Historically, older hearing aid models and earlier pacemaker versions were more susceptible to interference. However, with advances in technology, both devices have seen significant improvements in reducing susceptibility to EMI.
Current Research and Recommendations
Recent studies and guidelines suggest that modern hearing aids and pacemakers can safely coexist with minimal risk of interference. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Maintain Distance: While the risk is low, it’s still recommended to keep your hearing aid and pacemaker at least 6 inches apart during the fitting process and when turning the hearing aid on or off.
- Stay Updated: Always ensure both your hearing aid and pacemaker are the latest models, and have them regularly checked for updates.
- Inform Your Healthcare Providers: Always let your hearing specialist and cardiologist know about all the devices you’re using. They can provide tailored advice based on the specific models and your health profile.
- Monitor and Report: If you experience any dizziness, irregular heartbeats, or other unusual symptoms, immediately inform your healthcare providers.
While the days of significant EMI concerns are largely behind us, it’s always best to remain informed and cautious. The key is to keep communication lines open with both your audiologist and cardiologist.
Need Help? Have a Question? Contact Us Today!
At the Regional Hearing & Balance Center, your health and well-being are our top priority. If you have more questions or concerns about the compatibility of hearing aids with pacemakers or any other hearing-related matters, don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert team. Call us at 208-497-3596 or click here to book a complimentary hearing assessment.