Contemporary technology has changed the way we power electronics of every kind, from radios to cameras to phones. A powerful, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.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 amongst manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being one of the more common battery types. The most popular form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
The Downside to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air impacts a zinc-air battery, as the name suggests. In the case of the 312 batteries used in many hearing aids, the user needs to pull a small tab off the back of the battery before it’s turned on and operational.
They will begin draining power the moment they are fully oxygenated. That means power is beginning to drain whether the user is ready for it or not.
The biggest drawback to disposable batteries, for the majority of users, is how short they last. With 312 batteries, the user might be changing the batteries in their hearing aids around 120 times per year because they drain 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 replace them, and correctly dispose of each. That’s probably over $100 in batteries from a cost perspective alone.
Improvements 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 use hearing aids.
Studies have shown that most people overwhelmingly prefer to use rechargeable hearing aids. Until now these models have historically struggled to supply a long enough charge to make them practical. But modern rechargeable batteries will last all day without needing a recharge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users significant amounts of money, but they will make quality of life better.
These new models give less aggravation on top of keeping a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t have the burden of constantly changing out the batteries. They just need to place 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. There’s also no exact way to know how close to being inoperable the battery actually is. So the batteries might die at the exact moment that a user needs them the most which might even put them in danger. A faulty battery will not only cause a safety hazard, it could cause the user to miss out on key life moments.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
Rechargeable batteries come in numerous different materials, each providing unique advantages. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one alternative being used by manufacturers because they can hold a charge for 24 hours. And smart-phones are powered by this same kind of battery which may be surprising.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for modern rechargeable hearing aids. This innovative technology was initially developed for NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon. With this technology, even your current hearing aids can most likely be updated to run on rechargeable batteries. Just like lithium-ion, silver-zinc can also produce enough power to last you for a full day.
Some models even allow you to recharge the battery while it’s still in the hearing aid. During the night, or at some other time when the hearing aid is not in use, the whole hearing aid can be put directly into the charger
Whichever solution you choose, rechargeable batteries will be significantly better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to determine which solution is ideal for your needs.
If you’re looking for more information about hearing aid technology or how to select the proper hearing aid to meet your needs, we encourage you to look at our hearing aids section.