From cameras to phones to music players, how we power our electronics has advanced. A powerful, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the antiquated disposable power sources of the past.
Size 312 batteries are the most prevalent of the disposable batteries that have traditionally been used to power hearing aids. The most popular form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
The Downside to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air impacts a zinc-air battery, as the name implies. When it comes to the 312 batteries used in many hearing aids, the user needs to pull a small tab off the back of the battery before it’s activated and operational.
As soon as it is fully oxygenated, it starts to lose power. That means power is start to deplete whether the user is ready for it or not.
Most users consider the duration of life to be the most significant disadvantage of disposable batteries. With 312 batteries, the user might be changing the batteries in their hearing aids about 120 times each year because they drain in 3 to 12 days according to some reports.
Because of this, besides needing to buy 120 batteries, the user will need to change and properly dispose of batteries at least twice every week. From a cost perspective alone, that likely equates to more than $100 in battery costs.
Rechargeable battery Advancements
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has progressed to the point where it’s now a practical option and that’s great news for individuals who use hearing aids.
The vast majority of people would use rechargeable hearing aids if given an alternative according to various studies. In the past, these models were impractical because they didn’t maintain a charge long enough. But today’s rechargeable batteries will last all day without requiring a recharge.
Users won’t see significant cost savings by switching to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see an obvious improvement is in quality of life.
These modern models provide less aggravation on top of keeping a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t deal with the burden of constantly swapping out the batteries. Instead, they just need to take out the battery and put them in a convenient tabletop charger.
A disposable battery approaching the end of its life simply can’t function at full power. And you can’t tell how close the battery is to quitting. So the batteries might die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which might even put them in peril. A dead battery will not only lead to a safety hazard, it could cause the user to miss key life moments.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
There are unique advantages to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are constructed from. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one option being used by manufacturers because of their ability to hold a 24-hour charge. And smart-phones are powered by this same kind of battery which might be surprising.
Another type of contemporary rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Initially, these innovative batteries were developed 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 requiring a recharge.
There are also models that let you recharge the hearing aid without taking out the battery. During the 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
Whichever option you choose, rechargeable batteries will be considerably 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 pick the ideal hearing aid to satisfy your needs, we encourage you to look at our hearing aids section.