On paper, re-chargeable batteries for hearing aids are certainly a great idea, but in the past this idea did not always succeed in practice. The first rechargeable hearing aid batteries were large (meaning that they could only be used in over-the-ear type aids), took hours to recharge, and did not hold that charge for very long. Early adopters could get 5 to 6 hours of battery life out of them. That was less than half of the 12 to 14 hours most hearing aid users require for a single day.
However, many advances have been made in the years since – in the materials used for the batteries, in their size, in the length of time they hold a charge, and in the technologies used to recharge them. All of these changes add up to making rechargeable batteries more eco-friendly and cost-efficient, and thus an excellent choice for use in your hearing aid. For example, over a 3-year period the average hearing aid wearer would use up an average of 300 disposable batteries at a cost of $300 to $400 dollars; all of these batteries would have to be disposed of in a proper recycling bin and not just thrown in the trash. In contrast, the hearing aid wearer using rechargeable batteries would only need 6 of them for that same three-year period, none of which needed to be thrown away; total cost (including the recharger) would be in the range of 100 to 200 dollars.
One advantage of replaceable batteries that you might not immediately think of is not having to deal with the plastic containers that disposable batteries come in, which tend to be challenging for those over seventy, and thus most in need of hearing aids. In contrast, some of the newer aids that use rechargeable batteries, don’t even have to be opened. You simply place the entire unit into the recharging station overnight. For convenience you can now get a portable battery recharger. It is about the size and shape of a pen making it easy to carry with you and doesn’t require an external power source.
As a result, it can be said that rechargeable batteries are a viable option for hearing aids, one that can help you both to save money and to save the environment. Plus, if you’re traveling or stuck somewhere without a charger handy, you always have the option of using disposable batteries until you get home.