From cameras to phones 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A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.
Size 312 batteries are the most prevalent of the disposable batteries that have traditionally been used to power hearing aids. The most prominent form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Downside
As the name would imply, a zinc-air battery is impacted by the presence of air. When it comes to 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’s activated and functional.
They will begin draining power the moment they are fully oxygenated. That means power is start to drain whether the user is ready for it or not.
The biggest downside to disposable batteries, for most users, is how long they last. With 312 batteries, the user may 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.
Because of this, besides having to purchase 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 advanced to the point where it’s now a practical solution and that’s great news for people who wear hearing aids.
Studies have demonstrated that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to wear rechargeable hearing aids. Over the years, these models were not practical because they didn’t hold a charge long enough. But today’s rechargeable batteries will last all day without needing a recharge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users significant amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
On top of supplying 24 hours of charge time, these new models lead to less frustration for the user, since there’s no more swapping and correctly disposing of batteries. They simply need to put the battery on the charger.
When a disposable battery nears the end of its life it can’t run your hearing aid at full power. And you can’t determine how close the battery is to failing. So the batteries could die at the exact moment that a user needs them the most which could even put them in danger. A dead battery will not only lead to a safety hazard, it could cause the user to miss important life moments.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
Rechargeable batteries come in various different materials, each providing distinct advantages. The ability to hold a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one practical option that manufacturers supply. 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. This revolutionary approach was originally manufactured for NASA’s Apollo 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, like lithium-ion, will also last all day before requiring a recharge.
Some models even let you recharge the battery without removing it. At night, or at some other time when the hearing aid is not being used, the whole hearing aid can be placed directly into the charger
While all of these rechargeable strategies provides significant benefits over disposable batteries, each option should be properly vetted to get a complete picture and to discover if it’s best for you.
Check out our hearing aid section if you’re looking for more information about what battery would be best for you or any other info about hearing aids.