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Hearing aid electromagnetic interference from digital wireless telephones

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1 Author(s)
Skopec, M. ; Center for Devices & Radiol. Health, Rockville, MD, USA

Several in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids were tested for audible interference at various distances from five types of digital wireless telephones. The interference which takes the form of a buzzing and a static sound was quantified using a calibrated system including a frequency analyzer and a pressure field microphone. The output of the each hearing aid was coupled to the microphone via Tygon tubing and a standard 2 cc coupler. The highest interference-induced sound pressure level (SPL), 122.5 dB, was measured from a BTE hearing aid placed within 2 cm of a transmitting Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) phone. In this case, interference was detected up to a separation distance of almost 3 m. While all phones tested produced a similar interference level within 2 cm of this hearing aid, interference SPL from the code division multiple access (CDMA)-based system decreased more rapidly with distance than the time division multiple access (TDMA)-based phones tested

Published in:

Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )