From cameras to phones to music players, how we power our electronics has progressed. For years, people 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 common 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 affected by the presence of air. The user has to pull a little tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery to activate it.
They will begin losing power the moment they are fully oxygenated. So the power is draining even if the user isn’t actively using it.
Most users regard the duration of life to be the biggest drawback of disposable batteries. Some reports have cited the standard life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be from 3 and 12 days, which means users may have to replace their batteries about 120 times every year.
Because of this, besides needing to purchase 120 batteries, the user will need to switch and properly dispose of batteries at least two times a week. From a cost perspective alone, that likely means over $100 in battery costs.
Advancements in Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has progressed to the point where it’s now a viable option and that’s good news for people who wear hearing aids.
The vast majority of people would use rechargeable hearing aids if given a choice according to some research. Over the years, these models were impractical because they didn’t maintain a charge long enough. However, modern innovations now facilitate a full day of use per charge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users significant amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
These new models provide less frustration on top of keeping a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t have the burden of constantly changing out the batteries. They simply need to put the battery on the charger.
When a disposable battery nears the end of its life it won’t run your hearing aid at full capacity. And you can’t determine how close the battery is to quitting. Consequently, users chance putting themselves in a situation where their battery might die at a crucial time. Not only is this a safety concern, but users may miss out on important life moments because of a faulty battery.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
There are unique advantages 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 viable option that manufacturers provide. You may be surprised to know that this same type of technology is what charges and powers your smart-phone.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for modern rechargeable hearing aids. 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 converting the device to rechargeable power. These batteries, like lithium-ion, will also last all day before needing to be recharged.
There are also models that allow you to recharge the hearing aid without taking out the battery. For these, users will slip the entire hearing aid into a charging station when they sleep or at another time when the hearing aid is not in use.
Whichever solution you choose, rechargeable batteries will be significantly better than disposable batteries. You just need 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 best for you or any other info about hearing aids.