Pacemaker and magnetic interference are one of the most important discussions for people having a pacemaker or ICD. Usually, doctors and physicians used to give guidance about the do’s and don’ts with a pacemaker.
In this discussion, we have found a topic where we can highlight some crucial points. Hence, Today’s question is- can I wear a smartwatch with a pacemaker?
Let’s take some notes. And get clarity about the functionality of Pacemakers with magnetic devices like smartwatches or smartphones.
Should I Wear A Smartwatch Having A Pacemaker?
FDA has stated that magnetic interference could affect a pacemaker’s functionality.
Devices like smartwatches and fit bands should keep at least 6-inches away from Pacemakers or ICDs to prevent magnetic interference. Users can wear smartwatches with disabled wifi or Bluetooth by keeping away their hands from the chest.
Fitness wearables are used to wear on the wrists. Normally, the wrist is located more than 6-inches away from the chest as well as the heart. Hence, it’s a safe distance.
Now, this is a problem for users to remember that they are not allowed to rest their hands on the chest. Therefore, users should maintain the preferable distance between the smartwatch and the pacemaker.
Our best advice follows if you feel any kind of unnatural symptoms, avoid wearing the fitness tracker.
What Happens When You Bring Magnetic Devices Near Pacemaker Or ICD
If you are having a pacemaker in your body, doctors may recommend you to stay away from magnets. Let’s break the reasons into several points-
First of all, Magnets do not damage, reverse, or burst a pacemaker. What Magnets may change is the specific beats per minute in a pacemaker. With ICD it switches over to inhibit detection so that the devices will not shock us.
After replacing the magnetic force, everything will back to normal in the pacemaker.
Moreover, here is a copy from Medscape, that shows us a detailed over of the behavior of pacemakers with the presence of magnets.
Here are some questions people asked about user guidance of pacemakers in relation to magnets.
According to Heart Rhythm Journal, Magnet Mode in an ICD can disable the tachycardia detection and pacemakers used to force the rate of asynchronous pacing. However, this mode does not affect the functionality of pacing.
A general instruction says to keep magnets at least 6-inches away from a pacemaker or ICD.
Although, devices like Ham radios must be kept at a minimum of 12-15 inches away from a pacemaker.
According to Medscape, if you place a magnet temporarily on a pacemaker it switches the pacer into asynchronous mode but does not turn off the pacemaker.
Depending on the type, pacemakers have variations in the rate of asynchronous mode.
Why Magnetic Interference Is Not Good For Pacemakers
As mentioned earlier, Magnetic devices are not preferable to keep close to a pacemaker or ICD. Now, the question is- what is the effect on the Heart due to Magnetic interference on pacemakers?
According to a research engineer at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland called, Corentin Féry, Magnetic interference in pacemakers may cause disability in your cardioverter-defibrillator.
The patient may feel rapid heartbeats. This may cause severe injuries in the heart and could be a cause of death.
Accessories You Can’t Use With A Pacemaker
With Having A Pacemaker, you must avoid a few instruments to prevent abnormal functionality of the ICD or Pacemaker.
ICD refers to implantable cardioverter defibrillators. In general, Doctors give a list of devices that must be kept away from the patients having Pacemaker.
Devices To Be Kept Away From A Pacemaker
- Cell Phones
- Metal Detectors
- CB Radio’s
- Electric Pet
- Magnetic Mattress Or Pillows
- Electronic Wearable
- Magnetic Bracelet
- Magnetic Necklace
- Fitness Trackers Or Smartwatches
Technically, devices like Pacemakers face interruption due to magnetic force. In our daily schedule, we often use some devices that produce electromagnetic waves. If you want to know about the devices that should be kept away from Pacemakers check this article.
FAQs About Magnetic Interference With Pacemaker
People with pacemakers can talk on cell phones at a distance of 6 inches from the Pacemaker. In addition, Smartphones must not be kept in the chest pocket.
Metal or Magnetic devices are not suitable for Pacemaker’s functionality. It’s better to keep away metallic ornaments from pacemakers.
Not all devices and instruments are extremely harmful to Pacemakers. There are both types of device categories: risky devices, and Little to no risky devices.
Risky devices for pacemakers are mentioned above in the list such as cell phones, smartwatches, metal detectors, Magnetic Pillows, etc.
Where Little to no risky devices are- Weed Trimmers, Leaser level, Radio-controlled toys, Hedge Trimmers, Leaf Blowers, Calculator, Scanners, Printers, Computers, and Hair Dryer.
According to FDA, Magnetic devices should be kept away at least 6 inches from pacemakers.
No, there are no guaranteed magnetic devices that could completely damage a pacemaker.
However, smartphones, Radio, Metal scanner, CT scanners, and cancer Radiation treatment is capable to affect the functionality of pacemakers.
Any type of magnetic device could affect the pacemaker’s functionality. Smartwatches produce a magnetic field that is harmful to ICDs and pacemakers. It’s better to avoid anything tracking devices on a body having pacemakers.
In conclusion, Magnetic interference is not healthy for patients with a pacemaker. It’s better to talk with your doctors before using anything sensitive for the pacemaker or ICD.
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