Modern technology has changed the way we power electronics of every kind, from cameras to phones to music players. For decades, people looking to manage hearing loss have hoped for a similar advancement, and the industry is finally realizing the promise of a robust rechargeable hearing aid battery.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have traditionally been the power source of choice among manufacturers, with size 312 batteries serving as one of the more prevalent battery types. The most prominent form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
The Drawback to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air impacts a zinc-air battery, as the name implies. Regarding 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 activated and operational.
They will start losing power as soon as they are completely oxygenated. That means power is beginning to deplete even if the user isn’t ready.
The biggest downside to disposable batteries, for the majority of users, is how short they last. Some reports have cited the average life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be from 3 and 12 days, which means users could switch out their batteries about 120 times every year.
Because of this, besides needing to buy 120 batteries, the user will have to change and correctly dispose of batteries at least twice every week. From a cost perspective alone, that likely means over $100 in battery purchases.
Rechargeable battery Advancements
Fortunately, for hearing aid wearers in search of another alternative, there have been profound advancements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a feasible solution.
Studies have demonstrated that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to use rechargeable hearing aids. In the past, these models were not practical because they didn’t keep a charge long enough. But today’s rechargeable batteries will hold a charge all day without needing a recharge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users substantial amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
On top of providing 24 hours of use time, these contemporary models lead to less frustration for the user, since there’s no more changing and correctly disposing of batteries. Instead, they just need to take out the battery and place them in a convenient tabletop charging unit.
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 real way to identify how near to being inoperable the battery really is. So the batteries might die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which might even put them in peril. Not only is this a safety concern, but users may miss out on important life moments because of a faulty battery.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
Rechargeable batteries come in numerous different materials, each offering unique advantages. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one alternative being used by manufacturers because they can hold a charge for 24 hours. You may be surprised to learn that this same kind of technology is what charges and powers your smart-phone.
Another type of modern rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. This innovative approach was initially developed for NASA’s Apollo moon missions. With this technology, even your current hearing aids can most likely be updated to run on rechargeable power. These batteries, similar to lithium-ion, will also last all day before requiring a recharge.
Some models even allow you to recharge the battery without removing it. At night, or at some other time when the hearing aid isn’t in use, the entire hearing aid can be put right into the charger
While each of these rechargeable solutions offers significant benefits over disposable batteries, each approach should be carefully vetted to get a complete picture and to identify if it’s best for you.
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.