From phones to cameras to music players, how we power our electronics has advanced. A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have traditionally been the power source of choice amongst manufacturers, with size 312 batteries serving as one of the more prevalent battery types. Today, the most prominent version of these batteries is known as a “zinc-air” battery.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Disadvantage
As the name would imply, a zinc-air battery is affected by the presence of air. The user needs to pull 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. So the power is depleting even if the user isn’t currently using it.
The biggest disadvantage to disposable batteries, for the majority of users, is how long they last. With 312 batteries, the user might be changing the batteries in their hearing aids around 120 times every year because they drain in 3 to 12 days according to some reports.
Because of this, besides needing to buy 120 batteries, the user will have to change and properly dispose of batteries at least two times a week. That’s most likely over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Advancements in Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has advanced to the point where it’s now a viable solution and that’s great news for people who use hearing aids.
The vast number of people would use rechargeable hearing aids if given an alternative according to some research. Until recently these models have historically struggled to give a long enough charge to make them worthwhile. But today’s rechargeable batteries will last all day without needing a recharge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users substantial amounts of money, but they will make quality of life better.
On top of supplying 24 hours of charge time, these contemporary models result in less aggravation for the user, since there’s no more changing and properly disposing of batteries. Instead, they just need to pop out the battery and place them in a convenient tabletop charger.
A disposable battery approaching the end of its life simply can’t function at full power. And you can’t determine how close the battery is to failing. So the batteries could die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which might even put them in danger. A faulty battery will not only lead to a safety hazard, it could cause the user to miss key life moments.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
There are unique advantages to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are constructed from. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one alternative being used by manufacturers because they can hold a charge for 24 hours. You might be surprised to learn that this same type of technology is what charges and powers your cellphone.
Another type of contemporary rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Initially, these revolutionary batteries were manufactured for Nasa’s moon missions. With this technology, even your current hearing aids can probably be upgraded to run on rechargeable power. Just like lithium-ion, silver-zinc can also produce enough power to last you all day.
There are also models that allow you to recharge the hearing aid without taking out the battery. During the night, or at some other time when the hearing aid isn’t being used, the whole hearing aid can be put directly into the charger
While all of these rechargeable solutions provides considerable benefits over disposable batteries, each option should be carefully vetted to get a complete picture and to identify if it’s best for you.
If you’re searching for more information about hearing aid technology or how to select the ideal hearing aid to satisfy your needs, we encourage you to look at our hearing aids section.