Up to now, the concept of rechargeable batteries for hearing aids was a notion that was far better in principle than it was in practice. The first rechargeable hearing aid batteries were large (meaning that they could only be used in over-the-ear type aids), took hours to recharge, and did not hold that charge for very long. The best of them only lasted for 5 to 6 hours, not the twelve to fourteen hours that the average wearer of hearing aids needs.
However, many advances have been made in the years since – in the materials used for the batteries, in their size, in the length of time they hold a charge, and in the technologies used to recharge them. As a result, rechargeable batteries are in many cases not only a good idea, but one that is far more eco-friendly and cost-efficient. A typical binaural hearing aid user would go through about three hundred disposable batteries in a three-year period at a cost of $300 or more. In contrast, the hearing aid wearer using rechargeable batteries would only need 6 of them for that same three-year period, none of which needed to be thrown away; total cost (including the recharger) would be in the range of $100 to $200 dollars.
Other benefits of rechargeable batteries include, interestingly enough, having to open fewer sealed-tightly-in-plastic-to-avoid-easy-access battery packages, which can often be a challenge for those over seventy, who just happen to be the primary wearers of hearing aids. Some of the newest rechargeable hearing aids don’t even require you to open the aid to remove the battery; you place the entire unit in the recharging station overnight. For convenience you can now get a portable battery recharger. It is about the size and shape of a pen making it easy to carry with you and doesn’t require an external power source.
So these days rechargeable batteries for your hearing aid are not only practical, they will save you money and help you to protect the environment. In addition, using rechargeable batteries does not mean you lose the option of using disposable ones; if you’re stuck somewhere without your charger, you can just buy disposable batteries and still use your hearing aid successfully.