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A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.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 historically been the power source of choice amongst manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being 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 imply, a zinc-air battery is impacted by the presence of air. In the case of the 312 batteries used in a lot of hearing aids, the user needs to pull a small tab off the back of the battery before it is turned on and functional.
The moment 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 consider the length of life to be the greatest drawback of disposable batteries. With 312 batteries, the user could be replacing 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 having to purchase 120 batteries, the user will have to change and correctly dispose of batteries at least twice every week. That’s most likely over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Rechargeable battery Advancements
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has progressed to the point where it’s now a practical option and that’s good news for people who wear hearing aids.
The vast number of people would use rechargeable hearing aids if given an alternative according to various research. Until recently these models have traditionally struggled to give a long enough charge to make them worthwhile. But modern 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 modern models give less aggravation on top of keeping a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t deal with the burden of continuously changing out the batteries. They just need to place the battery on the charger.
When a disposable battery nears the end of its life it can’t run your hearing aid at full capacity. There’s also no exact way to identify how near to being inoperable the battery actually is. As a result, users risk putting themselves in a situation where their battery may die at a crucial time. A faulty battery will not only cause a safety concern, it could cause the user to miss out on important life moments.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
Rechargeable batteries come in a variety of different materials, each offering unique advantages. The ability to hold a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one worthwhile option that manufacturers supply. You might be surprised to learn that this same kind of technology is what charges and powers your smart-phone.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for today’s rechargeable hearing aids. Initially, 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 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 while it’s still in the hearing aid. At night, or at some other time when the hearing aid is not in use, the entire hearing aid can be put directly into the charger
Whichever solution you choose, rechargeable batteries will be considerably better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to decide which solution is best for your needs.
Check out 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.