From cameras to phones to music players, how we power our electronics has progressed. A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally realizing the hopes of hearing aid makers to replace the antiquated disposable power sources of the past.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have traditionally been the power source of choice amongst manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being one of the more common battery types. The most prominent form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
The Drawback to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
As the name would indicate, a zinc-air battery is affected by the presence of air. 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 is turned on and operational.
As soon as it is fully oxygenated, it starts to lose power. 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 biggest drawback of disposable batteries. 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 need to change and properly dispose of batteries at least two times every week. That’s probably over $100 in batteries from a cost perspective alone.
Improvements in Rechargeable Batteries
Fortunately, for hearing aid wearers in search of another approach, there have been significant improvements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a practical option.
The vast number of individuals would wear rechargeable hearing aids if given an option according to various studies. Until recently these models have traditionally struggled to give a long enough charge to make them worthwhile. However, modern innovations now allow an entire day of use per charge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users substantial amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
These new models give less aggravation on top of maintaining a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t have the burden of constantly changing out the batteries. Instead, they only need to pop out the battery and put them in a convenient tabletop charging unit.
A disposable battery approaching the end of its life simply can’t work at full power. There’s also no exact way to know how close to being inoperable the battery actually is. Consequently, users risk putting themselves in a position where their battery may die at a critical time. A dead battery will not only result in a safety concern, it could cause the user to miss key life moments.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
There are unique 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 worthwhile option that manufacturers supply. And smart-phones are powered by this same type of battery which may be surprising.
Another kind of contemporary rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Originally, these innovative batteries were manufactured 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, similar to lithium-ion, will also last all day before needing to be recharged.
There are also models that allow you to recharge the hearing aid without taking out the battery. For these, users will place 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.
Take a look at our hearing aid section if you’re searching for more information about what battery would be the right choice for you or any other info about hearing aids.