Hearing aids and allergies

Allergic reactions caused by wearing hearing aids are very rare but can occur in exceptional circumstances where people have highly sensitive skin.

At Beltone we design all our products with thoroughly tested and certified materials to minimize the possibility of any allergic reactions. All the materials we use are carefully selected and those that have direct contact with skin are subject to biocompatibility testing and certification. Our products do not contain or have not been exposed to the allergenic fragrances listed in the EU Directive 2009/48/EC.

We’ve compiled a set of questions and answers for people with highly sensitive skin or allergies to certain materials. If you have a question that is not listed below, or you would like more information about the materials used in our hearing aids, you are welcome to contact us here.

 

Q: I have been patch tested for contact allergies. Can I wear your hearing aids?
A: Yes, you can. None of the materials that are in contact with the skin contain these substances.  

Q: Is it possible a hearing aid can activate dermatitis or another kind of skin irritation even though the hearing aid doesn’t contain any irritants? 
A: It is rare, but possible that for someone with highly sensitive skin, irritation can occur if the hearing aid is moving against the skin and there is moisture, soap or creams that contain SLS (sesquiterpene lactone) present on the skin. A hearing aid that is fitted correctly will not move against the skin and it is important to see your hearing care professional for a correct fitting if this occurs.

Q: I am allergic to nickel. Can I use your hearing aids, or can they activate a reaction?
A: There is very small amount of nickel used inside our hearing aids, but it is covered by the outer shell and does not come in contact with the skin. Some hearing aids (RIE and BTE) have the ends of two stainless steel pins in the outer shell, these can release micro amounts of nickel, but since there is no contact with the skin, it would be highly unlikely that it could cause an allergic reaction.

Q: I have an allergy to latex. Is there any risk of a reaction to latex with wearing your hearing aids?
A: Our hearing aids do not contain latex, but if a hearing aid has been exposed to latex (e.g. from a hearing care professional using latex gloves) then it can be contaminated if it is not cleaned afterwards. In general, it is important that hearing aids are cleaned regularly. Latex allergy is rare in the general population but can develop in people who have a lot of contact with latex, such as people working in the healthcare sector who use latex gloves every day. 

Q: You use ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) in the shell of your hearing aids. I am allergic to styrene; can I get an allergic reaction from wearing your hearing aids?
A: At Beltone we use the highest quality ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) on the market. We have used this material for decades and it is well regarded for use in medical devices. The styrene contained in ABS is stable and bound within the material, therefore there an extremely low chance that the selected ABS could influence any kind of allergic reaction.