How to Pick Low-EMF Hearing Aids

Updated: Jul 26

Hearing aids are a wonder of the technological world, and a gift to many. Unfortunately, modern digital hearing aids can actually be the most extreme source of wireless radiation, one type of EMF, that someone can be exposed to. Even worse than a cell tower, WiFi router or cell phone. Why? Although battery powered wireless devices usually emit relatively low amounts of radiation, hearing aids are much closer to your brain than almost any device out there. Sometimes they emit a combination of BlueTooth and other wireless frequencies.


I've seen very high radiation from hearing aids time and again. And this radiation is the same type emitted by your cell phone or WiFi router, which is well studied and theorized by many scientists to be cancer-causing. In fact here's a recent video I put together to show you just how much radiation these tiny devices emit.



For perspective, here are the Building Biology guidelines.


The hearing aids in the video are well into the extreme concern range!


Recently I reached out to some colleagues in hopes that they knew of some non-wireless hearing aids. Someone still had to be making them, right? Or at least some models that allowed a true airplane mode.

The information that came back was positive, there were indeed options out there.


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I got an info-packed response from Hannah Jackson, a Building Biologist in Vermont. In addition to being trained in detecting sources of wireless radiation, she is an excellent resource on the topic of hearing aids as she uses them personally.


Here are some of her general thoughts on looking for low-EMF hearing aids:

"First off, I always recommend clients test their current hearing aids in airplane mode to see if it eliminates all wireless signals. Fingers crossed it will work. This is how I am able to use my hearing aids. Through my experience, I commonly find that hearing aid manufacturers don't fully understand what happens when their hearing aids are placed in airplane mode. Even if the manufacturer's literature states the airplane mode disables only the Bluetooth signal, it's still worth testing to see if it eliminates all wireless frequencies."

Basically, we can't trust the manufacturer and always need to verify. Even if the instructions say wireless can be disabled, you still need to verify. I have heard of some hearing aids allowing BlueTooth to be disabled, but still transmitting other bands of wireless frequencies. So VERIFY always! Here is the brand of meters I recommend for this task: Safe & Sound


So what models has Hannah found to be safer, allowing wireless to truly be disabled?

"There are two models I recommend: the Phonak Brio 4 I-10 NW (in-the-ear) model and the Kirkland KS10.0 (behind-the-ear). The Phonak Brio 4 is a true non-wireless model. The Kirkland KS10.0 model is only non-wireless when it is operated in airplane mode."

Specifics about the Phonic Brio:

"As a true non-wireless hearing aid, the Phonak Brio 4 NW model contains no wireless transmitters (no Bluetooth transmitter and no ear-to-ear RF communication). These hearing aids do not "talk" to each other (if you wear two) like wireless hearing aids do and they are much more rudimentary in terms of their capabilities for interpreting surrounding environments. Meaning they really just amplify everything (with more amplification happening at the frequencies the wearer has lost). Whereas wireless digital hearing aids are much more sophisticated in terms of being able to interpret the surrounding environments and tone down nuisance sounds. I think it is safe to say that the sound quality coming out of a non-wireless non-digital hearing aid is not as 'good' as a wireless digital hearing aid, but personally, there was no internal debate for me: I had to have non-wireless hearing aids. No negotiations. I did not (and still do not) want wireless devices in my ears sending signals through my brain! Thanks... but, I'll pass. I would have gone without hearing aids, which would have meant tuning out the sounds of the world around me, then plug a wireless device directly into my ear."

And the Kirkland KS 10.0:

"The Kirkland KS10.0 model is a behind-the-ear model, which is great for folks with small ear canals (like myself). The KS10.0 model is a wireless digital hearing aid, but when operated in airplane mode, all RF signals are disabled. This is where testing came in handy! The manufacturer claimed airplane mode was going to disable only the Bluetooth signal, but from my testing, I discovered airplane mode actually disabled both the Bluetooth signal and the ear-to-ear RF communication!"

Hannah tested with professional grade meters and did not detect wireless radiation from this model. To put into airplane mode:

"Putting the KS10s into airplane mode takes an extra 10 seconds, but luckily, they stay in airplane mode all day, so you only need to take those extra 10 seconds when you initially turn on the hearing aids in the morning (or any other time you turn off/on your hearing aids during the day). Folks should look at their operating manuals for how to put their hearing aids into airplane mode."

This doesn't apply to the KS10s, but for some models airplane mode may be turned off when these are plugged in to charge, so verify with a meter, and know that you may have to turn airplane mode back on daily. Do ensure that wherever you charge them is shielded, well away from your bed.


Also, regarding the simple AM radio test for dirty electricity (noise):


"I used an AM radio to test the electrical noise coming off of the Brio 4 and KS10 hearing aids. There is definitely more noise coming off of the KS10.0 model than the Brio 4 model, I think mostly because the KS10 model is just a bigger beast in general, it is physically larger and there is more circuitry inside than the physically smaller Brio 4 model. However, personally, I can hear so much better with the KS10 model, because this behind-the-ear model doesn't leave me with the plugged, water-in-the-ear feeling that the Brio 4 in-the-ear model gave me. For me, the benefits of wearing the KS10 model (only in airplane mode) far outweigh the risks of the additional electrical noise."

I hope you've found this info helpful and enlightening. For one reason or another, the models listed in this article may not be available to you. Don't worry, you can easily do some basic online research, including calling the manufacturer of other models to inquire about wireless. Then when you have a good candidate, it's time to test with a quality RF meter (linked above).


And, it's entirely possible that your current units do allow wireless to be disabled. Again, you'll want to do some basic research and then verify with a meter.


The bottom line for me on this topic is that wireless radiation from hearing aids is a MAJOR EMF concern. Since these devices are close to your brain for many hours of the day, don't wait to take action and find safer units! And, if you are going to complain about having to replace your current units for $5-8,000, just ask yourself this- how much will a brain cancer diagnosis cost you, both in dollar terms and years of your life? (plus Hannah said hearing aids @ Costco are way cheaper than anywhere else).


A big thanks goes out to Hannah for this excellent information! You can find out more about her below.

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Hannah Jackson, BBEC, EMRS

Certified Building Biology® Environmental Consultant &

Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist

Your Healthier Home, LLC

www.yourhealthierhome.com

Hannah Jackson building biologist

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Thanks for reading!


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Shane Reilly Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist Owner - Optimal Dwelling Spaces LLC

help@optimaldwellingspaces.com 971.204.8956 *************** President - Know Your Waves, a 501(c)(3) Non-profit

Shane Reilly Building Biologist




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