From cameras to phones to music players, how we power our electronics has evolved. For years, people looking to manage hearing loss have hoped for a similar progression, 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 typically been used to power hearing aids. The most popular form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Downside
The presence of air impacts a zinc-air battery, as the name indicates. The user needs to tear a small tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery in order to activate it.
They will begin losing power as soon as they are fully oxygenated. That means power is start to drain even if the user isn’t ready.
Most users regard the length of life to be the biggest disadvantage of disposable batteries. With 312 batteries, the user may be replacing the batteries in their hearing aids around 120 times each 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 every week to change them, and properly dispose of each. From a cost point of view alone, that likely means more than $100 in battery purchases.
Rechargeable battery Advancements
Thankfully, for hearing aid users in search of another approach, there have been profound advancements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a viable choice.
Studies have demonstrated that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to wear rechargeable hearing aids. Until now these models have traditionally struggled to supply a long enough charge to make them practical. However, modern advancements now facilitate an entire day of use per charge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users substantial amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
On top of supplying 24 hours of use time, these new models result in less frustration for the user, since there’s no more swapping and correctly disposing of batteries. They simply need to place the battery on the charger.
A disposable battery approaching the end of its life simply can’t work at full power. There’s also no real way to identify how near to being inoperable the battery really is. So the batteries could die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which might even put them in danger. A faulty battery will not only lead to a safety concern, it could cause the user to miss key life moments.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
Rechargeable batteries come in numerous different materials, each providing unique advantages. The ability to hold a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one practical option that manufacturers supply. You might be surprised to know that this same type of technology is what charges and powers your smart-phone.
Another kind of contemporary rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Initially, these revolutionary batteries were manufactured for Nasa’s moon missions. You can even use this technology to update 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 let you recharge the hearing aid without removing the battery at all. At night, or at some other time when the hearing aid is not in use, the whole hearing aid can be put right into the charger
Whichever option you decide on, rechargeable batteries will be significantly better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to decide which solution is best for your needs.
If you’re searching for more information about hearing aid technology or how to select the ideal hearing aid to meet your needs, we encourage you to take a look at our hearing aids section.