From phones to cameras to music players, how we power our electronics has evolved. A powerful, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally living up to the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the antiquated disposable power sources of the past.
Size 312 batteries are the most prevalent of the disposable batteries that have typically been used to power hearing aids. The most popular form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
The Drawback to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
As the name would indicate, a zinc-air battery is affected by the presence of air. The user needs to pull a little tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery to activate it.
They will start draining power as soon as they are fully oxygenated. That means power is beginning to drain whether the user is ready for it or not.
Most users regard the length of life to be the greatest disadvantage of disposable batteries. With 312 batteries, the user could be changing the batteries in their hearing aids around 120 times every year because they die in 3 to 12 days according to some reports.
Because of this, besides needing to buy 120 batteries, the user will have to change and correctly dispose of batteries at least two times a week. That’s probably over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Improvements in Rechargeable Batteries
Thankfully, for hearing aid users in search of another approach, there have been profound developments to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a practical choice.
The vast number of people would use rechargeable hearing aids if given an option according to various studies. Until now these models have historically struggled to provide a long enough charge to make them practical. However, modern innovations now allow an entire day of use per charge.
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 supplying 24 hours of use time, these new models result in less aggravation for the user, since there’s no more changing and correctly disposing of batteries. They simply need to place the battery on the charger.
When a disposable battery gets near the end of its life it won’t run your hearing aid at full capacity. There’s also no real way to identify how close to being inoperable the battery really is. So the batteries might die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which could even put them in danger. Not only is this a safety hazard, but users could miss significant life moments because of a dead battery.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
Rechargeable batteries come in numerous different materials, each offering distinct advantages. The ability to hold a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one practical option that manufacturers provide. And smart-phones are powered by this same kind of battery which may be surprising.
Another kind of contemporary rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. This innovative technology was initially developed for NASA’s Apollo moon missions. With this technology, even your existing hearing aids can most likely be upgraded to run on rechargeable batteries. Just like lithium-ion, silver-zinc can also produce enough power to last you all day.
Some models even allow you to recharge the battery while it’s still in the hearing aid. At night, or at some other time when the hearing aid is not in use, the entire hearing aid can be placed directly into the charger
Whichever option you decide on, rechargeable batteries will be significantly better than disposable batteries. You just need to do some research to determine which option is ideal for your needs.
Check out our hearing aid section if you’re searching for more information about what battery would be best for you or any other info about hearing aids.