Contemporary technology has evolved the way we power electronics of every kind, from radios to cameras to phones. For decades, individuals looking to address hearing loss have wished for a similar progression, and the industry is finally recognizing the promise of a robust rechargeable hearing aid battery.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have historically been the power source of choice among manufacturers, with size 312 batteries serving as one of the more common battery types. The most popular form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Disadvantage
As the name would indicate, a zinc-air battery is impacted by the presence of air. When it comes to the 312 batteries used in many hearing aids, the user is required to pull a small tab off the back of the battery before it is turned on and operational.
They will start losing power as soon as they are fully oxygenated. That means power is beginning to drain whether the user is ready for it or not.
Most users regard the duration of life to be the greatest drawback of disposable batteries. Some reports have estimated the standard life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be between 3 and 12 days, which means users may need to replace their batteries around 120 times every year.
Because of this, besides having to purchase 120 batteries, the user will need to change and properly dispose of batteries at least twice every week. That’s most likely over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Rechargeable battery Improvements
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has progressed to the point where it’s now a viable option and that’s great news for individuals who wear hearing aids.
The vast number of people would use rechargeable hearing aids if given an option according to some studies. In the past, these models were not practical because they didn’t hold a charge long enough. 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 improve their quality of life.
These new models give less frustration on top of keeping a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t deal with the burden of constantly swapping out the batteries. Instead, they only need to take out the battery and put them in a convenient tabletop charger.
When a disposable battery gets near the end of its life it won’t run your hearing aid at full capacity. There’s also no exact way to identify how near to being inoperable the battery really is. So the batteries could die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which could even put them in danger. Not only is this a safety hazard, but users could miss out on significant life moments due to a faulty battery.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
Rechargeable batteries come in numerous different materials, each providing distinct advantages. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one option being used by manufacturers because they can hold a charge for 24 hours. And cellphones are powered by this same type of battery which may be surprising.
Another kind of modern rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. This innovative technology was initially developed for NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon. With this technology, even your current hearing aids can probably be upgraded to run on rechargeable batteries. Just like lithium-ion, silver-zinc can also provide enough power to last you for a full day.
There are also models that allow you to recharge the hearing aid without removing the battery at all. 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 significantly better than disposable batteries. You just need to do some research to determine which solution is best 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.