From phones to cameras to music players, how we power our electronics has evolved. A powerful, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally realizing the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the antiquated disposable power sources of the past.
Size 312 batteries are the most common of the disposable batteries that have typically been used to power hearing aids. Nowadays, the most prominent version of these batteries is known as a “zinc-air” battery.
The Downside to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air impacts a zinc-air battery, as the name indicates. In the case of 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 turned on and functional.
As soon as it is fully oxygenated, it starts to lose power. That means power is start to drain even if the user isn’t ready.
Most users consider the duration of life to be the biggest drawback of disposable batteries. With 312 batteries, the user might be replacing the batteries in their hearing aids about 120 times every year because they drain in 3 to 12 days according to some reports.
Because of this, besides having to purchase 120 batteries, the user will have to switch and properly dispose of batteries at least two times every week. That’s most likely over $100 in batteries from a cost perspective alone.
Improvements in Rechargeable Batteries
Luckily, for hearing aid wearers in search of another alternative, there have been profound developments to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a practical solution.
The vast majority of people would wear rechargeable hearing aids if given an option according to various research. In the past, these models were not practical because they didn’t hold a charge long enough. But modern rechargeable batteries will hold a charge all day without requiring a recharge.
Users won’t see significant cost savings by switching to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see an obvious improvement is in quality of life.
On top of providing 24 hours of charge time, these contemporary models lead to 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 function at full power. There’s also no exact way to identify how close to being inoperable the battery actually is. Consequently, users risk putting themselves in a position where their battery might die at a crucial time. Not only is this a safety concern, but users may miss important life moments due to a dead battery.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
Rechargeable batteries come in numerous different materials, each providing distinct advantages. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one alternative being used by manufacturers because of their ability to hold a 24-hour charge. And smart-phones are powered by this same kind of battery which might be surprising.
Another type of modern rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Originally, these revolutionary batteries were developed for Nasa’s moon missions. With this technology, even your current hearing aids can most likely be upgraded to run on rechargeable batteries. These batteries, like lithium-ion, will also last all day before requiring a recharge.
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 option you decide on, rechargeable batteries will be significantly better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to determine which option is ideal for your needs.
Check out our hearing aid section if you’re looking for more information about what battery would be best for you or any other info about hearing aids.