A pacemaker is a small device that is usually implanted in the chest of a patient to control their heartbeat. This is done through a medical procedure.
The device ensures that the heart doesn’t beat too slowly. People fitted with pacemakers are advised to avoid strong electromagnetic devices. In that case, can you use an electric razor? Let’s find out.
Why Does A Person With The Pacemaker Need To Stay Away From Strong Electromagnetic Devices ?
It’s because of a phenomenon known as ElectroMagnetic Interference (EMI).
ElectroMagnetic Interference, or EMI, happens when a product uses electricity or sends wireless signals containing invisible electromagnetic fields around them.This phenomenon from electricity devices will affect the function of pacemakers inside them.
Although the pacemaker has features that protect it from wireless or electricity signals, some tools may have strong electromagnetic interference affecting temporarily how the pacemaker works.
So, your electric razor uses electricity, it also emits EMI. Is an electric razor’s EMI strong enough to interfere with a pacemaker’s function?
Studies On The Effects Of Electric Razor On Pacemakers
In one study that was published in the American Heart Association’s journal, it was noted that devices such as electric razors can interfere with a pacemaker when kept under close proximity.
Therefore, as per the study, an electric shaver can interfere with the pacemaker’s ability to regulate the heart.
The study conducted by Aachen University Hospital researchers in Germany found that the magnetic fields produced by devices such as electric razors, lawnmowers and circular saw were strong enough to affect the performance of the pacemaker when put in close proximity.
According to the lead Cardiologist in the study, Dr Andreas Napp, the field starts to become weaker from 12 inches. This means that the electric razor will be safe when used well. The most important thing is to keep it at a distance from the pacemaker.
According to the cardiologist, electromagnetic interference with pacemakers can cause slow heart rate, also referred to as bradycardia. The interference risk usually depends on a wide range of factors such as the implant setting or the field source’s strength.
According to Dr Napp, there are instances when patients passed out as a result of their pacemaker stopping to work. While he added that he had never had a patient die from electromagnetic interference, there was a big risk associated.
The study was conducted on 119 patients who were exposed to increased magnetic fields until there was a failure in the sensing mechanism of the pacemaker. The study noted that around 56% of the patients were affected by an electric razor when it was put about an inch away. However, the electric razor was safe to use when it was at least 8 inches away.
In another study, a pacemaker was used to control ventricular irritability as a result of myocardial infarction. When shaving using an electric razor, there was a total inhibition of the pacemaker.
The same condition was replicated when the shaver was taken 6 inches near the pulse generator even when set at the lowest setting. Therefore, if you are caring for a patient with a pacemaker, you need to be aware of the electromagnetic field that can result in the nonfunctioning of the pacemaker even when set in a safe setting.
Should I Use An Electric Razor If I Have A Pacemaker?
In general, it’s ok to use an electric razor if you have a pacemaker.
Following mentioned research, an electric razor will be safe to use for people with pacemakers when it is placed at least 6 inches (15 centimeters) away from the device.
When operating the electric razor, you should not hold it directly over the pacemaker. If you experience dizziness when using, you should turn off the electric shavers or move them away.
It’s also important to ensure that the electric shaver is in good working condition, is used as intended and the recommended distance is maintained.
When these guidelines are followed, there is no known risk.
On the other hand, you might think about using battery electric shavers, which certainly emit less EMI than the mains ones. There is no harm for your pacemaker and it will be safer for your conditions.
Otherwise, it is highly recommended to ask your doctor before using an electric razor for more healthy related information.
What To Do In Case Of An Emi Interference With A Pacemaker?
One of the good things about razor interference is that it happens temporarily. That means it doesn’t reprogram the pacemaker.
Therefore, in the unlikely event that you feel the effect, you can step away from the razor. Instead, choose a rechargeable cordless one. If you don’t feel anything, then you should be fine.
For more safe-electric-using information, you should check on the guide of using your pacemaker on the manufacturer’s website.
Can you use an electric razor if you have a pacemaker? The answer is Yes.
However, you will need to ensure that your electric razor is kept in good working condition and also kept at a certain distance to your pacemaker. Make sure to check on your pacemaker manufacturer’s recommendations for more safe information when using electric devices.
We hope that by reading this article, you have your own answer and enjoy using an electric razor with no harm.