From cameras to phones to music players, how we power our electronics has advanced. For decades, individuals looking to address hearing loss have wished for a similar progression, and the industry is finally realizing the promise of a powerful rechargeable hearing aid battery.
Size 312 batteries are the most common of the disposable batteries that have traditionally been used to power hearing aids. The most prominent form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Downside
As the name would suggest, a zinc-air battery is affected by the presence of air. The user has to tear a little tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery to activate it.
They will begin losing power the moment they are completely oxygenated. That means power is beginning to deplete even if the user isn’t ready.
Most users regard the duration of life to be the biggest disadvantage 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 could switch out their batteries about 120 times per year.
Because of this, besides needing to purchase 120 batteries, the user will need to switch and properly dispose of batteries at least twice a week. That’s probably over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Rechargeable battery Advancements
Thankfully, for hearing aid wearers in search of another alternative, there have been profound advancements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a viable solution.
The vast number of people would wear rechargeable hearing aids if given an alternative according to various studies. Until now these models have historically struggled to supply a long enough charge to make them worthwhile. However, modern advancements now enable a full day of use per charge.
Users won’t see significant cost benefits by changing to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see an obvious improvement is in quality of life.
These new models give less aggravation on top of maintaining a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t have the burden of continuously changing out the batteries. They just need to put the battery on the charger.
When a disposable battery gets near the end of its life it can’t run your hearing aid at full capacity. There’s also no real way to know how close to being inoperable the battery actually is. So the batteries might die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which might even put them in peril. Not only is this a safety hazard, but users may miss out on important life moments because of a dead battery.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
Rechargeable batteries come in various different materials, each providing distinct advantages. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one alternative being used by manufacturers because of their ability to hold a 24-hour charge. And cellphones are powered by this same kind of battery which may be surprising.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for modern rechargeable hearing aids. This innovative technology was originally manufactured for NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon. With this technology, even your current hearing aids can most likely be upgraded to run on rechargeable power. These batteries, like lithium-ion, will also last all day before needing to be recharged.
There are also models that allow you to recharge the hearing aid without removing the battery at all. For these, users will place the entire hearing aid on a charging station when they sleep or during another time when the device isn’t in use.
Whichever solution you decide on, rechargeable batteries will be significantly better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to determine which option is best for your needs.
Take a look at our hearing aid section if you’re searching for more information about what battery would be the right choice for you or any other info about hearing aids.