Modern technology has changed the way we power electronics of all kinds, from radios to cameras to phones. For years, those looking to address hearing loss have wished for a similar progression, and the industry is finally recognizing the promise of a powerful rechargeable hearing aid battery.
Size 312 batteries are the most prevalent of the disposable batteries that have typically been used to power hearing aids. Today, the most popular version of these batteries is generally known as a “zinc-air” battery.
The Drawback to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air impacts a zinc-air battery, as the name implies. When it comes to the 312 batteries used in many hearing aids, the user is required to pull a small tab off the back of the battery before it is turned on and functional.
The moment 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.
The biggest drawback to disposable batteries, for most users, is how short they last. With 312 batteries, the user could be changing the batteries in their hearing aids about 120 times per year because they drain in 3 to 12 days according to some reports.
Because of this, besides needing to buy 120 batteries, the user will need to switch and properly dispose of batteries at least two times a week. That’s probably over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Rechargeable battery Improvements
Rechargeable hearing aid technology has advanced to the point where it’s now a viable option and that’s good news for people who use hearing aids.
The vast number of individuals would use rechargeable hearing aids if given an alternative according to various research. Over the years, these models were not practical because they didn’t keep a charge long enough. But today’s rechargeable batteries will last all day without needing a recharge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users substantial amounts of money, but they will make quality of life better.
In addition to supplying 24 hours of use time, these contemporary models lead to less aggravation for the user, since there’s no more swapping and properly disposing of batteries. They just need to place the battery on the charger.
A disposable battery approaching the end of its life simply can’t function at full capacity. And you can’t determine how close the battery is to quitting. So the batteries could 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 concern, but users could miss out on important life moments due to a faulty battery.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
There are distinct advantages to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are made of. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one option being used by manufacturers because of their ability to hold a 24-hour charge. And smart-phones are powered by this same type of battery which may be surprising.
Another type of modern rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. This revolutionary technology was initially developed for NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon. With this technology, even your existing hearing aids can probably be upgraded to run on rechargeable power. Just like lithium-ion, silver-zinc can also provide enough power to last you all day.
Some models even allow you to recharge the battery without removing it. At night, or at some other time when the hearing aid isn’t being used, the entire 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 need to do some research to determine which option is best for your needs.
If you’re looking for more information about hearing aid technology or how to select the proper hearing aid to meet your needs, we encourage you to look at our hearing aids section.