by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A lady explained:
I have hearing aids and a heart pacemaker. I use a cell phone on my opposite ear but I’m having trouble hearing and would like to be able to use a bluetooth neckloop. Since I would be wearing this around my neck, would this affect my pacemaker?
I’m asked this question from time to time. As far as I know, there are no known cases of pacemakers malfunctioning because of the person using any of the various Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) to help them hear better, but there are warnings that it could happen. Since there are no guarantees that it won’t ever happen, you still need to be careful.
From what I’ve read, you should keep any electronic device at least 6 inches away from your pacemaker. Thus, if you were wearing a bluetooth neckloop, I’d keep the “dongle” on the side opposite to your pace maker. You’d have to pin it there or it would just swing back to the center again—well within 6 inches of your pacemaker. That’s one solution.
Another solution is to use the Music Links rather than a bluetooth neckloop. The Music Links hook over your ears—well away from your pacemaker so they shouldn’t ever be a problem. They plug directly into your phone so you’d have to have your phone on your person—not in your purse like you could do with a bluetooth neckloop. Unfortunately, Music Links seem to have gone the way of the Dodo bird.