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Can the radiation from wireless hearing aids cause brain damage?

John Coverstone, AuD

Board Certified in Audiology

04 September 2018 - 8.04K Views

We do not believe that any hearing devices emit enough radiation to cause any adverse health effects. Most newer products use a low-power Bluetooth chip (Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE). The signal from this chip is much less powerful than a traditional Bluetooth device and therefore would be theoretically safer than conventional Bluetooth devices, including your car's wireless connection to your phone, Bluetooth headphones, etc. 

Further, the hearing aids themselves are mostly receiving the signal from your phone. The data they are sending back to the phone is primarily to acknowledge they received the transmitted data properly. When you are streaming audio, you are subject to barely more radiation than walking around with no hearing aids (but are surrounded by radio and television signals, cell phone signals, WiFi signals and other people's wireless data). The hearing aids are primarily receiving transmissions from your phone and sending out relatively little in return.

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Abram Bailey

Professional Member

04 September 2018 - 8.05K Views

The question of whether or not radiation from hearing aids poses a health risk has been addressed before. Please check out Do Wireless Hearing Aids Present a Health Risk? from Hearing Review. Here's a snippet from it:

By design, hearing aids radiate extremely low levels of energy; therefore, the levels of electromagnetic energy that wireless hearing aids radiate are well below the maximum levels permitted by governing regulations. 
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Audiologist in Salem

04 September 2018 - 8.01K Views

There is no current evidence supporting the belief that wireless hearing aids can cause brain damage.  This idea may come from a similar myth about cell phones.

Many years ago there was a belief that cell phones themselves caused  brain damage or tumors.  While some evidence did exist, it was limited to analog phones with specific types of batteries, and the user would have to hold the cell phone next to the head for at least eight hours a day, five days a week, for several months if not years for it to develop. 

Now, that may sound like some teenagers you may know, but nevertheless, the research did lead the FCC and other international agencies to impose new restrictions on cell phone manufacturers, such that the battery life of phones decreased significantly to reduce the chance of it happening.

The radiation emitted by the hearing aids is significantly lower than that emitted by cell phones.  In other words, your cell phone held to your head has a greater but still negligible chance of causing brain damage than your hearing aids would.  If anything, the combination of hearing aids and cell phones may actually make telecommunication safer, not more dangerous.

And while some may point out the activity of teenagers as an example of why they behave the way they do, I'd rather stick would an explanation that make much more sense:  hormones.

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Maggie Robertson, AuD


05 September 2018 - 8K Views

There is no current evidence that states that radiation from wireless hearing aids causes brain damage. 
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Shannon Parker, AuD

Hearing Healthcare Provider

04 September 2018 - 8.05K Views

There has been no evidence of any type of brain damage caused by any Bluetooth compatible hearing aids. Bluetooth has been safely used in hearing aids for approximately the last 10 years by several different different leading manufacturers.  

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Ashley McGee

Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist

04 September 2018 - 8.06K Views

No, there is no evidence that indicates wireless hearing aids, or any hearing aid, causes brain damage from radiation. 
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Richard Quartermain

Professional Member

04 September 2018 - 8.06K Views

Many people will comment on this...but the reality one can answer this with certainty,  just as the question cannot be answered yet with holding a cell phone up to your ear.....We certainly hope not, but I challenge any one to give a definitive answer on this other than an opinion.....scholarly or not.....
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Ellen Nathan

Hearing Healthcare Provider

04 September 2018 - 8.06K Views

Hearing aids do not emit radiation.
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