Contemporary technology has changed the way we power electronics of every kind, from radios to cameras to phones. A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.
Size 312 batteries are the most common of the disposable batteries that have traditionally been used to power hearing aids. The most prominent form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Disadvantage
The presence of air effects a zinc-air battery, as the name implies. The user has to tear a small tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery to activate it.
As soon as it is fully oxygenated, it starts to lose power. That means power is beginning to deplete even if the user isn’t ready.
Most users regard the duration of life to be the most significant disadvantage of disposable batteries. Some reports have cited the average life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be between 3 and 12 days, which means users could switch out their batteries about 120 times every year.
That also means users may need to buy 120 batteries, spend the time twice every week to replace them, and properly dispose of each. That’s most likely over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Rechargeable battery Improvements
Fortunately, for hearing aid wearers looking for another approach, there have been significant improvements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a feasible solution.
The vast number of people would use rechargeable hearing aids if given an option according to some research. Over the years, these models were not practical because they didn’t keep a charge long enough. However, modern developments now allow a full day of use per charge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users significant amounts of money, but they will make quality of life better.
In addition to supplying 24 hours of charge time, these new models lead to less frustration for the user, since there’s no more swapping and properly disposing of batteries. They just need to place the battery on the 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 know how close to being inoperable the battery actually is. As a result, users chance putting themselves in a position where their battery may die at a critical time. A dead battery will not only result in a safety hazard, it could cause the user to miss out on important life moments.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
There are distinct benefits to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are constructed from. The ability to hold 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 kind of battery which might be surprising.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for modern rechargeable hearing aids. 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 converting the device to rechargeable power. Just like lithium-ion, silver-zinc can also provide enough power to last you all day.
Some models even let you recharge the battery without removing it. For these, users will place the entire hearing aid into a charging station when they sleep or during another time when the hearing aid isn’t in use.
Whichever option you choose, rechargeable batteries will be substantially better than disposable batteries. You just need to do some research to determine which option is best for your needs.
If you’re searching for more information about hearing aid technology or how to determine the proper hearing aid to meet your needs, we encourage you to take a look at our hearing aids section.