Modern technology has evolved the way we power electronics of every kind, from radios to cameras to phones. A robust, 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 prominent form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Downside
The presence of air effects a zinc-air battery, as the name implies. In the case of the 312 batteries used in a lot of hearing aids, the user needs to pull a small tab off the back of the battery before it is turned on and operational.
As soon as it is fully oxygenated, it begins to lose power. That means power is start to deplete even if the user isn’t ready.
Most users consider the duration of life to be the biggest drawback 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 around 120 times per year.
Because of this, besides needing to purchase 120 batteries, the user will need to change and properly dispose of batteries at least two times every week. From a cost point of view alone, that likely equals more than $100 in battery costs.
Rechargeable battery Advancements
Luckily, for hearing aid users looking for another approach, there have been profound advancements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a viable option.
The vast majority 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. However, modern innovations now allow a full day of use per charge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users substantial amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
In addition to supplying 24 hours of charge time, these contemporary models lead to less aggravation for the user, since there’s no more swapping and correctly disposing of batteries. Instead, they only 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 operate at full capacity. And you can’t tell how near the battery is to failing. Consequently, users risk putting themselves in a position where their battery could die at a crucial time. Not only is this a safety concern, but users may miss significant life moments because of a faulty battery.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
Rechargeable batteries come in numerous different materials, each offering unique advantages. The ability to maintain 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 type of battery which may be surprising.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for today’s rechargeable hearing aids. This innovative technology was originally developed for NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon. You can even use this technology to update 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.
Some models even let you recharge the battery without removing it. For these, users will slip the entire hearing aid into a charging station when they sleep or during another time when the hearing aid isn’t in use.
Whichever solution you decide on, rechargeable batteries will be considerably better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to decide which option is best for your needs.
If you’re searching for more information about hearing aid technology or how to pick the best hearing aid to satisfy your needs, we encourage you to take a look at our hearing aids section.