Modern technology has changed the way we power electronics of all kinds, from cameras to phones to music players. For decades, those looking to manage 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 prevalent of the disposable batteries that have traditionally been used to power hearing aids. Nowadays, the most prominent version of these batteries is generally known as a “zinc-air” battery.
The Downside to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
As the name would indicate, a zinc-air battery is affected by the presence of air. The user needs to pull a small tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery in order to activate it.
They will begin draining power the moment they are fully oxygenated. So the power is depleting even if the user isn’t actively using it.
Most users regard the length of life to be the greatest drawback of disposable batteries. Some reports have estimated the standard life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be from 3 and 12 days, which means users could replace their batteries around 120 times every year.
That also means users may need to purchase 120 batteries, spend the time twice a week to change them, and correctly dispose of each. From a cost point of view alone, that likely equates to over $100 in battery purchases.
Rechargeable battery Improvements
Luckily, for hearing aid wearers looking for another alternative, there have been profound improvements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a practical option.
Studies have shown that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to use rechargeable hearing aids. Until now these models have traditionally struggled to give a long enough charge to make them practical. However, modern developments now facilitate an entire day of use per charge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users significant amounts of money, but they will make quality of life better.
In addition to providing 24 hours of use time, these new models lead to less frustration for the user, since there’s no more changing and properly disposing of batteries. Instead, they only need to pop out the battery and place them in a convenient tabletop charger.
When a disposable battery nears the end of its life it won’t run your hearing aid at full capacity. And you can’t determine how close the battery is to failing. So the batteries might die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which could even put them in peril. A dead battery will not only cause a safety concern, it could cause the user to miss important life moments.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
There are distinct benefits to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are constructed from. Integrated lithium-ion batteries are one alternative being used by manufacturers because they can hold a charge for 24 hours. You may be surprised to know that this same type of technology is what charges and powers your smart-phone.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for today’s rechargeable hearing aids. Initially, these innovative batteries were developed for Nasa’s moon missions. You can even use this technology to upgrade and retrofit the existing hearing aids you’re comfortable with by changing 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. During the night, or at some other time when the hearing aid is not being used, the entire hearing aid can be put right into the charger
Whichever option you choose, rechargeable batteries will be substantially better than disposable batteries. You just need to do some research to decide which option is best for your needs.
If you’re looking for more information about hearing aid technology or how to pick the proper hearing aid to satisfy your needs, we encourage you to look at our hearing aids section.