Why Portable Amplifiers Are a Better Assistive Listening Device for Pacemaker Wearers
With today’s explosion of wireless technology, a sea of data regarding the safety of everything from cell phones to assistive listening devices has spawned a lively and sometimes confusing public health debate.
Nowhere is this confusion more apparent than in the controversy over whether or not — or how — personal electronic devices affect pacemakers.
And since many pacemaker wearers also suffer from hearing loss, the question of which assistive listening device is safest takes on a new urgency.
Is a Portable Personal Amplifier Best for You?
Since many clinical test results are inconclusive, the jury’s still out over whether or not many wireless devices — such as iPods — can pose a health risk to pacemaker wearers.
We asked a representative at Williams Sound (which makes both FM-based and infrared wireless assistive listening systems) about this issue and were told that their systems are safe to use with pacemakers.
However, Williams Sound always advises that users consult a doctor before using their systems.
Some doctors caution, for example, against wearing neckloop receivers with pacemakers, as the two are in close proximity on the wearer. The same concern applies to any wireless receiver you might carry in your shirt pocket.
PockeTalkers Are Safer
If you want to err on the side of caution, a good alternative to a wireless system is the Williams Sound PockeTalker Ultra.
It’s a self-contained personal amplification system that uses a small microphone directed at the sound source to amplify desired sounds into compatible headphones or headsets.
Most importantly, no wireless transmitters are involved. Best of all, since it uses inexpensive wired technology, it’s a far more budget-friendly choice than a pricey wireless assistive listening device.
Nonetheless, I would recommend (in line with Williams Sound) that pacemaker users check with their doctors before using any personal electronic system, wireless or not.
For more details on the Pocketalker Ultra or other assistive listening devices, call our staff of experts at 1-800-263-0112 or send us an email!