Which laser or radiofrequency treatments are safe with hearing aids, Hearing Assist, or cochlear implants?

I have a cochlear implant. I understand that I cannot have radiofrequency treatments such as Fractora, however I am unsure about fractional laser therapy such as Fraxel. Am I able to have Fraxel and other laser skin treatments on my head and neck area? Thank you so much!

I’m so glad you asked this. Hearing assists are very common now and a necessity for many! And, they’ve improved so much in the past 10 years. You’re smart to ask about the compatability of laser or radiofrequency skin treatments and cochlear implanst / hearing aids. You always want to prioritize your safety and avoid damage to the equipment.

Hearing aids and radiofrequency / laser treatments

Hearing aids are usually much smaller now. With clear, nearly invisible tubing, the average person often doesn’t notice them.  Here’s why laser and radiofrequency devices are safe with hearing aids:

  • Most are easy to remove, and it may make you more comfortable to do that just before the treatment starts.
  • Some patients get mildly claustrophobic with their hearing aids out, and we can all understand this.  Especially when the eyes need to be covered for all laser procedures too. Solution: leave them in!
  • They can be covered with a soft laser shield (like we use for the eyes) or gauze pad while lasering, and you can still hear.
  • If you’re working with someone you trust, it’s fine to even laser on the earlobe to “refresh” it too.

Cochlear Implants and radiofrequency / laser treatments

  • NO radiofrequency without your implant specialist MD giving you the OK. This includes Thermage, hyfercators, Ultherapy, Exilis, Peleve, Fractora, Thermi systems, and many other devices.
  • As for lasers, Fraxels, carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers, erbium lasers, IPL and Vbeams, and other lasers — these are fine.  Lasers are light based devices, not sound wave based.
  • You may feel more comfortable covering the ear with a soft laser shield (like we use for the eyes) or a gauze pad. Why? The sounds waves may interfere with the programming of the implant.

Bottom line:

Lasers and light based devices are generally fine to use on the face, head and neck area with all types of hearing aids and hearing assists. Please check with your doctor if you’re not sure.

Hope this helps, Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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