Modern technology has changed the way we power electronics of all types, from cameras to phones to music players. A robust, 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 traditionally been the power source of choice amongst manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being one of the more common battery types. These days, the most prominent version of these batteries is generally known as a “zinc-air” battery.
The Drawback to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air effects a zinc-air battery, as the name indicates. The user has to tear a little tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery to activate it.
They will begin losing power as soon as they are completely oxygenated. That means power is start to drain whether the user is ready for it or not.
The biggest downside to disposable batteries, for the majority of users, is how long they last. Some reports have estimated the standard life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be between 3 and 12 days, which means users may have to switch out their batteries about 120 times every year.
That also means users may need to purchase 120 batteries, spend the time twice every week to replace them, and properly dispose of each. From a cost perspective alone, that likely equates to more than $100 in battery costs.
Improvements in Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has advanced to the point where it’s now a practical solution and that’s good news for people who wear hearing aids.
Studies have revealed that most people overwhelmingly prefer to wear rechargeable hearing aids. Previously, these models were impractical because they didn’t keep a charge long enough. However, recent advancements now allow a full day of use per charge.
Users won’t see significant cost benefits by switching to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see a demonstrated improvement is in quality of life.
On top of providing 24 hours of use time, these new models lead to less aggravation for the user, since there’s no more swapping and properly disposing of batteries. Instead, they just need to take out the battery and place them in a convenient tabletop charger.
A disposable battery nearing the end of its life simply can’t work at full power. There’s also no exact way to know how near to being inoperable the battery really is. Because of this, users chance putting themselves in a position where their battery could die at a critical time. Not only is this a safety hazard, but users may miss significant life moments because of a faulty battery.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
There are unique advantages 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 practical option that manufacturers supply. 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 today’s rechargeable hearing aids. Initially, these revolutionary batteries were manufactured 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, similar to lithium-ion, will also last all day before needing to be recharged.
There are also models that let you recharge the hearing aid without taking out the battery. At night, or at some other time when the hearing aid isn’t being used, the whole hearing aid can be placed right into the charger
Whichever option you choose, rechargeable batteries will be substantially better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to decide which solution is ideal for your needs.
Check out our hearing aid section if you’re looking for more information about what battery would be the right choice for you or any other info about hearing aids.