From phones to cameras to music players, how we power our electronics has evolved. A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.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 traditionally been the power source of choice among manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being one of the more prevalent battery types. Today, the most popular version of these batteries is generally known as a “zinc-air” battery.
The Drawback to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air effects a zinc-air battery, as the name implies. Regarding 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 operational.
They will begin draining power the moment they are completely oxygenated. That means power is start to deplete even if the user isn’t ready.
The biggest downside to disposable batteries, for the majority of users, is how long they last. Some reports have cited the standard life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be from 3 and 12 days, which means users could switch out their batteries around 120 times every year.
Because of this, besides having to buy 120 batteries, the user will need to switch and correctly dispose of batteries at least twice every week. From a cost perspective alone, that likely equates to over $100 in battery costs.
Advancements in Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has advanced to the point where it’s now a practical option and that’s great news for people who wear hearing aids.
The vast majority 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 today’s rechargeable batteries will last all day without needing a recharge.
Users won’t see significant cost savings by changing to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see a demonstrated improvement is in quality of life.
In addition to supplying 24 hours of charge time, these contemporary models result in less aggravation for the user, since there’s no more changing and properly disposing of batteries. Instead, they just need to pop out the battery and put them in a convenient tabletop charger.
A disposable battery nearing the end of its life simply can’t operate at full capacity. There’s also no exact way to identify how near to being inoperable the battery actually is. Because of this, users chance putting themselves in a situation where their battery could die at a critical time. Not only is this a safety hazard, but users could miss important life moments because of a faulty battery.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
There are unique benefits to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are constructed from. The ability to hold a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one practical option that manufacturers provide. 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. Initially, these revolutionary batteries were manufactured for Nasa’s moon missions. With this technology, even your current hearing aids can probably be upgraded to run on rechargeable power. These batteries, like lithium-ion, will also last all day before needing to be recharged.
There are also models that let you recharge the hearing aid without removing the battery at all. At night, or at some other time when the hearing aid isn’t being used, the entire hearing aid can be placed directly into the charger
Whichever option you choose, rechargeable batteries will be significantly better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to decide which solution is ideal for your needs.
If you’re searching for more information about hearing aid technology or how to determine the best hearing aid to meet your needs, we encourage you to look at our hearing aids section.