Modern technology has changed the way we power electronics of every type, from radios to cameras to phones. A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid makers to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have historically been the power source of choice among manufacturers, with size 312 batteries serving as one of the more prevalent battery types. The most popular form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
The Downside to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air effects a zinc-air battery, as the name suggests. The user needs to pull a little tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery in order to activate it.
The moment 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 consider the length of life to be the biggest disadvantage of disposable batteries. With 312 batteries, the user could be changing the batteries in their hearing aids around 120 times every year because they drain in 3 to 12 days according to some reports.
That also means users may need to buy 120 batteries, spend the time twice every week to replace them, and correctly dispose of each. From a cost perspective alone, that likely equals more than $100 in battery purchases.
Rechargeable battery Advancements
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has progressed to the point where it’s now a viable option and that’s great news for people who wear hearing aids.
Studies have shown that most people overwhelmingly prefer to use rechargeable hearing aids. Until now these models have historically struggled to supply a long enough charge to make them worthwhile. But today’s rechargeable batteries will hold a charge all day without requiring a recharge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users significant amounts of money, but they will make quality of life better.
On top of supplying 24 hours of charge time, these contemporary models result in less frustration for the user, since there’s no more swapping and correctly disposing of batteries. Instead, they only need to pop out the battery and put them in a convenient tabletop charging unit.
A disposable battery nearing the end of its life simply can’t work at full capacity. There’s also no exact way to identify how near to being inoperable the battery actually is. So the batteries might die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which could even put them in peril. 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
There are distinct benefits to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are constructed from. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one alternative being used by manufacturers because of their ability to hold a 24-hour charge. You might be surprised to learn that this same kind of technology is what charges and powers your cellphone.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for today’s rechargeable hearing aids. Originally, these innovative batteries were manufactured for Nasa’s moon missions. You can even use this technology to update 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 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. For these, users will slip the entire hearing aid into a charging station when they sleep or at another time when the device is not in use.
Whichever option you decide on, rechargeable batteries will be considerably better than disposable batteries. You just need to do some research to decide which solution 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.