Modern technology has evolved the way we power electronics of every type, from radios to cameras to phones. A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the antiquated disposable power sources of the past.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have historically been the power source of choice among manufacturers, with size 312 batteries serving as one of the more prevalent battery types. The most popular form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
The Drawback to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air impacts a zinc-air battery, as the name indicates. When it comes to the 312 batteries used in many hearing aids, the user is required to pull a little tab off the back of the battery before it’s turned on and operational.
As soon as it is fully oxygenated, it starts to lose power. That means power is beginning to deplete whether the user is ready for it or not.
The biggest disadvantage to disposable batteries, for the majority of users, is how short they last. With 312 batteries, the user might be replacing the batteries in their hearing aids about 120 times per year because they drain in 3 to 12 days according to some reports.
Because of this, besides having to buy 120 batteries, the user will have to switch and properly dispose of batteries at least twice a week. From a cost perspective alone, that likely means more than $100 in battery purchases.
Improvements in Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has progressed to the point where it’s now a practical option and that’s great news for individuals who use hearing aids.
Studies have shown that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to use rechargeable hearing aids. Until recently these models have historically struggled to give a long enough charge to make them worthwhile. However, modern advancements now allow a full day of use per charge.
Users won’t see substantial cost savings by switching to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see an obvious improvement is in quality of life.
In addition to providing 24 hours of charge time, these new models result in less aggravation for the user, since there’s no more changing and correctly disposing of batteries. They simply need to put the battery on the charger.
A disposable battery approaching the end of its life simply can’t work at full power. And you can’t tell how near the battery is to failing. Consequently, users chance putting themselves in a situation where their battery could die at a crucial time. Not only is this a safety concern, but users may miss out on important life moments because of a faulty battery.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
There are distinct benefits to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are constructed from. The ability to maintain a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one practical option that manufacturers supply. And cellphones are powered by this same type of battery which might be surprising.
Another type of contemporary rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Initially, these innovative batteries were developed for Nasa’s moon missions. You can even use this technology to upgrade and retrofit the existing hearing aids you’re comfortable with by changing the device to rechargeable power. These batteries, like lithium-ion, will also last all day before requiring a recharge.
Some models even let you recharge the battery without removing it. For these, users will slip the entire hearing aid into a charging station when they sleep or during another time when the hearing aid is not in use.
Whichever option you decide on, rechargeable batteries will be considerably better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to determine which option is ideal for your needs.
Take a look at our hearing aid section if you’re looking for more information about what battery would be the right choice for you or any other info about hearing aids.