From phones to cameras to music players, how we power our electronics has progressed. A powerful, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally realizing 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. 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 little tab off the back of the battery before it’s turned on and operational.
The moment it is fully oxygenated, it begins to lose power. So the power is depleting even if the user isn’t actively using it.
Most users consider the duration of life to be the greatest drawback of disposable batteries. Some reports have estimated the average life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be between 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 have to change and correctly dispose of batteries at least twice every week. That’s most likely over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Advancements in Rechargeable Batteries
Fortunately, for hearing aid wearers looking for another approach, there have been profound advancements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a feasible option.
Studies have revealed that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to use rechargeable hearing aids. Until now these models have traditionally struggled to supply a long enough charge to make them worthwhile. But today’s rechargeable batteries will hold a charge all day without needing a recharge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users substantial amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
These modern models provide less aggravation on top of maintaining a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t deal with the burden of continuously changing out the batteries. Instead, they just need to take out the battery and put them in a convenient tabletop charger.
When a disposable battery gets near the end of its life it won’t run your hearing aid at full power. And you can’t determine how near the battery is to failing. Consequently, users risk putting themselves in a situation where their battery might die at a critical time. A faulty battery will not only lead to a safety concern, it could cause the user to miss important life moments.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
Rechargeable batteries come in a variety of different materials, each offering unique advantages. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one alternative 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.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for modern rechargeable hearing aids. Originally, these revolutionary batteries were manufactured for Nasa’s moon missions. You can even use this technology to update and retrofit the existing hearing aids you’re comfortable with by converting the device to rechargeable power. Just like lithium-ion, silver-zinc can also supply enough power to last you for a full day.
Some models even let you recharge the battery without removing it. For these, users will place the entire hearing aid on a charging station when they sleep or during another time when the device is not in use.
Whichever option you decide on, rechargeable batteries will be substantially better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to determine which option is best 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.