From cameras to phones to music players, how we power our electronics has evolved. For years, individuals looking to address hearing loss have wished for a similar advancement, and the industry is finally realizing the promise of a powerful rechargeable hearing aid battery.
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”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Disadvantage
As the name would indicate, a zinc-air battery is impacted by the presence of air. 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’s activated and functional.
They will begin losing power as soon as they are completely oxygenated. So the power is depleting even if the user isn’t currently using it.
Most users consider the duration of life to be the biggest drawback of disposable batteries. With 312 batteries, the user may be replacing 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 a week to replace them, and properly dispose of each. That’s probably over $100 in batteries from a cost perspective alone.
Advancements in Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has advanced to the point where it’s now a practical solution and that’s great news for individuals who wear hearing aids.
Studies have shown that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to use rechargeable hearing aids. 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.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users substantial amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
In addition to providing 24 hours of charge time, these new models result in less aggravation for the user, since there’s no more changing and correctly disposing of batteries. Instead, they only need to take out the battery and place them in a convenient tabletop charging unit.
A disposable battery nearing the end of its life simply can’t function at full capacity. There’s also no real way to know how near to being inoperable the battery actually is. As a result, users chance putting themselves in a situation where their battery might die at a critical time. Not only is this a safety concern, but users could miss significant 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 made of. 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 type of battery which may be surprising.
Another kind of modern rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Initially, these innovative batteries were developed for Nasa’s moon missions. You can even use this technology to modify 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.
There are also models that allow you to recharge the hearing aid without removing the battery at all. During the night, or at some other time when the hearing aid is not being used, the entire hearing aid can be put directly into the charger
Whichever option you choose, rechargeable batteries will be considerably better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to determine which option is best for your needs.
Check out our hearing aid section if you’re searching for more information about what battery would be the right choice for you or any other info about hearing aids.