Contemporary 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powerful, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.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. These days, the most popular version of these batteries is 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. Regarding the 312 batteries used in a lot of hearing aids, the user needs to pull a little tab off the back of the battery before it’s activated and functional.
As soon as it is fully oxygenated, it starts to lose power. That means power is start to drain whether the user is ready for it or not.
Most users consider the length of life to be the most significant disadvantage of disposable batteries. Some reports have estimated the average life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be from 3 and 12 days, which means users may need to switch out their batteries about 120 times per year.
Because of this, besides having to buy 120 batteries, the user will need to switch and correctly dispose of batteries at least twice every week. From a cost perspective alone, that likely equals over $100 in battery purchases.
Rechargeable battery Improvements
Luckily, for hearing aid wearers in search of another alternative, there have been significant developments to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a practical option.
The vast number of people would wear rechargeable hearing aids if given an option according to various studies. In the past, these models were impractical because they didn’t hold a charge long enough. But today’s rechargeable batteries will last all day without requiring a recharge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users substantial amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
These new models give less aggravation on top of keeping a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t deal with the burden of continuously changing out the batteries. They just need to put the battery on the charger.
When a disposable battery nears the end of its life it can’t run your hearing aid at full capacity. There’s also no real way to know how near to being inoperable the battery really is. Because of this, users risk putting themselves in a position where their battery might die at a crucial time. Not only is this a safety hazard, but users may miss out on significant life moments because of a faulty battery.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
Rechargeable batteries come in a number of different materials, each providing unique advantages. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one option being used by manufacturers because they can hold a charge for 24 hours. You may be surprised to learn that this same kind of technology is what charges and powers your smart-phone.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for today’s rechargeable hearing aids. Originally, these revolutionary batteries were developed for Nasa’s moon missions. With this technology, even your current hearing aids can probably 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.
There are also models that let you 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 device isn’t in use.
While each of these rechargeable solutions offers significant advantages over disposable batteries, each approach should be properly vetted to get a complete picture and to identify if it’s best for you.
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 check out our hearing aids section.