Best Practices Checklist

Are Bluetooth Hearing Aids Safe?

By: Dr Cliff Olson
January 7, 2019
Video Transcript

I receive a lot of questions and comments regarding the overall safety of using Bluetooth Hearing Aids since they sit next to your head for 8-16 hours per day.  However, to determine if hearing aids are bad for your health, we must first understand what Bluetooth is.  First, Bluetooth is simply a radio frequency.  

Specifically, a 2.4 GHz radio frequency.  This radio  frequency is what allows your hearing aids to communicate with other electronic devices such as a Tablet, Smartphone, or Computer.

Second, we need to understand what type of radiation that Bluetooth hearing aids emit.Bluetooth Radio Waves are a form of electromagnetic radiation, and there are two types of electromagnetic radiation.1. Ionizing Radiation - This radiation is given by X-rays, Radon, and Cosmic Rays.  

Exposure to this type of radiation can be dangerous.  X-rays for example, can increase your risk of cancer.  Ionizing radiation carries enough energy to separate electrons from atoms which is extremely bad for your health.

2. Non-Ionizing Radiation - This radiation is given off by Wifi devices and Bluetooth devices.  Exposure to this type of radiation is not dangerous.  Non-ionizing radiation does not have enough energy to separate electrons from atoms.  Therefore, it doesn't even pose a minor threat to your health.  

Furthermore, the only recognized biological effect of non-ionizing radiation is a heating effect.  If the radio frequency energy was high enough, it may increase your risk of burn.  

However, it is unlikely that a hearing aid would ever get hot enough to cause even a localized temperature increase behind or in your ear.Studies have also shown that Cell Phones create a significantly higher amount of non-ionizing radiation than hearing aids and it isn't even close.  Studies into non-ionizing radiation from Bluetooth is still ongoing, but continues to show that it does not pose a health risk.  

However, if you still feel that you are at risk for negative health effects from Bluetooth hearing aids, I highly suggest you also get rid of your cellphone, and any other electronic device you have in your presence, because they would pose a significantly higher risk than any Bluetooth hearing aid.

Dr Cliff's Thoughts

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