Modern technology has evolved the way we power electronics of every type, from cameras to phones to music players. A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid makers to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have traditionally been the power source of choice among manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being one of the more common battery types. The most popular form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Downside
As the name would indicate, a zinc-air battery is affected by the presence of air. The user has to tear a small tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery in order to activate it.
As soon as it is fully oxygenated, it begins 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 could be replacing the batteries in their hearing aids around 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 correctly dispose of batteries at least twice every week. That’s probably over $100 in batteries from a cost perspective alone.
Advancements in Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has progressed to the point where it’s now a viable solution and that’s good news for individuals who wear hearing aids.
Studies have revealed that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to use rechargeable hearing aids. In the past, these models were not practical because they didn’t maintain a charge long enough. However, modern advancements now facilitate a full day of use per charge.
Users won’t see substantial cost savings by changing to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see an obvious improvement is in quality of life.
These new models give less aggravation on top of keeping a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t deal with the burden of continuously changing out the batteries. They simply need to place the battery on the charger.
When a disposable battery nears the end of its life it doesn’t run your hearing aid at full capacity. And you can’t tell how near the battery is to failing. So the batteries could die at the exact moment that a user needs them the most which could even put them in peril. A dead battery will not only lead to a safety concern, it could cause the user to miss important life moments.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
There are unique advantages to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are made of. The ability to hold 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 kind of battery which might be surprising.
Another kind of contemporary rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Originally, these innovative batteries were developed for Nasa’s moon missions. You can even use this technology to modify 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.
There are also models that let you recharge the hearing aid without taking out the battery. For these, users will slip the entire hearing aid on a charging station when they sleep or at another time when the device is not in use.
Whichever option you choose, 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.
Check out 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.