Should you worry about interference?

Can electricity meters affect your CIs and sound processors?

Amongst the questions that we are asked most often is, “Could my CI be damaged by proximity to electrical appliances, such as my home electricity meter?”  It’s a good question to ask, so we decided to share the answer here in Cochlear Family News.

Domestic electrical and electronic devices will not harm your CI system.

Firstly, you can be reassured that all Cochlear™ products are tested against and conform to very stringent international standards for electrical medical devices. So, it is highly unlikely that you will come across any equipment in your home that has the potential to interact with or cause damage to your implant.

What if you hear interference?

Because your CI system is a transmitting electronic device, it’s possible you could experience interference from other electronic devices. Some induction hobs, strip lights and dimmer switches, for example, emit electromagnetic energy that can be perceived as interference when you are very close to them. This will not damage your implant system, but it can be annoying. Although you are likely more conscious of your hearing and interference than others, it may reassure you to know that people with natural hearing also sometimes notice a buzzing or high pitched sound when they are around these devices! 

When to seek advice

Although domestic electrical and electronic devices will not harm your system, there could be a risk from contact with high powered electrical equipment, such as electric fences and high-tension circuits in vehicles. If you work with electrical equipment or spend time in such an environment for another reason, we suggest you contact your healthcare professional or your customer service team to discuss it.

In summary:

  • This isn’t something most recipients need to be worried about, because domestic appliances will not cause any damage.  
  • If you are bothered by interference around any appliance, it is worth mentioning to your healthcare professional.
  • If you spend time around high powered electrical equipment, we recommend you get advice from your healthcare professional or customer service team.

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