Modern technology has changed the way we power electronics of every kind, from cameras to phones to music players. A powerful, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.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 among manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being one of the more prevalent battery types. The most prominent form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Disadvantage
As the name would imply, 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.
The moment it is fully oxygenated, it begins to lose power. That means power is start to deplete even if the user isn’t ready.
The biggest disadvantage to disposable batteries, for most users, is how long they last. Some reports have cited the standard life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be between 3 and 12 days, which means users may have to replace their batteries about 120 times per year.
That also means users may need to buy 120 batteries, spend the time twice a week to change them, and correctly dispose of each. From a cost perspective alone, that likely equates to over $100 in battery purchases.
Rechargeable battery Improvements
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has advanced to the point where it’s now a practical option and that’s good news for people who wear hearing aids.
Studies have revealed that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to wear rechargeable hearing aids. Over the years, these models were impractical because they didn’t hold a charge long enough. But modern rechargeable batteries will last all day without needing a recharge.
Users won’t see significant cost savings by switching to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see a demonstrated improvement is in quality of life.
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. 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. There’s also no exact way to know how near to being inoperable the battery actually is. Because of this, users chance putting themselves in a position where their battery may die at a critical time. Not only is this a safety concern, but users could miss important life moments because of a faulty battery.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
Rechargeable batteries come in numerous different materials, each offering distinct advantages. The ability to hold a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one viable option that manufacturers provide. And smart-phones are powered by this same type of battery which may be surprising.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for modern rechargeable hearing aids. 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. Just like lithium-ion, silver-zinc can also supply enough power to last you all day.
There are also models that allow you to recharge the hearing aid without removing the battery at all. At night, or at some other time when the hearing aid is not in use, the whole hearing aid can be put right into the charger
While each of these rechargeable solutions provides significant advantages over disposable batteries, each option should be properly vetted to get a complete picture and to discover if it’s best for you.
If you’re searching for more information about hearing aid technology or how to pick the best hearing aid to meet your needs, we encourage you to look at our hearing aids section.