Modern technology has changed the way we power electronics of every type, from cameras to phones to music players. A powerful, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally realizing the hopes of hearing aid makers to replace the antiquated disposable power sources of the past.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have historically been the power source of choice amongst manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being one of the more common battery types. The most prominent form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Downside
As the name would indicate, a zinc-air battery is affected by the presence of air. When it comes to the 312 batteries used in a lot of hearing aids, the user is required to pull a little tab off the back of the battery before it’s activated and functional.
The moment it is fully oxygenated, it starts to lose power. That means power is beginning to drain even if the user isn’t ready.
Most users consider the length of life to be the greatest drawback of disposable batteries. With 312 batteries, the user might be replacing the batteries in their hearing aids around 120 times per year because they die in 3 to 12 days according to some reports.
That also means users may need to purchase 120 batteries, spend the time twice a week to change them, and properly dispose of each. From a cost perspective alone, that likely equals more than $100 in battery costs.
Rechargeable battery Advancements
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has advanced to the point where it’s now a viable solution and that’s great news for people who wear hearing aids.
Studies have demonstrated that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to use rechargeable hearing aids. Until now these models have historically struggled to give a long enough charge to make them worthwhile. But modern rechargeable batteries will last all day without requiring a recharge.
Users won’t see substantial cost savings by switching to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see a demonstrated improvement is in quality of life.
On top of supplying 24 hours of use time, these new models lead to less aggravation 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 charger.
A disposable battery approaching the end of its life simply can’t operate at full power. There’s also no real way to know how close to being inoperable the battery actually is. Consequently, 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 due to a faulty battery.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
There are distinct benefits to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are constructed from. The ability to maintain a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one worthwhile option that manufacturers supply. And cellphones are powered by this same type of battery which might be surprising.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for modern rechargeable hearing aids. This innovative technology was originally manufactured for NASA’s Apollo 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. Just like lithium-ion, silver-zinc can also provide enough power to last you for a full day.
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 during another time when the hearing aid isn’t in use.
Whichever solution you decide on, 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.
If you’re looking for more information about hearing aid technology or how to determine the proper hearing aid to meet your needs, we encourage you to check out our hearing aids section.