From phones to cameras to music players, how we power our electronics has progressed. For decades, individuals looking to address hearing loss have wished for a similar advancement, and the industry is finally recognizing 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. Today, the most prominent version of these batteries is generally known as a “zinc-air” battery.
The Drawback to Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
The presence of air effects a zinc-air battery, as the name indicates. The user needs to pull a little 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. That means power is beginning to deplete even if the user isn’t ready.
The biggest disadvantage to disposable batteries, for the majority of users, is how long they last. Some reports have estimated the standard life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be between 3 and 12 days, which means users could switch out their batteries around 120 times per year.
Because of this, besides needing to buy 120 batteries, the user will need to switch and correctly dispose of batteries at least two times every week. That’s most likely over $100 in batteries from a cost perspective alone.
Rechargeable battery Improvements
Thankfully, for hearing aid wearers in search of another approach, there have been profound advancements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a practical solution.
The vast majority of individuals would wear rechargeable hearing aids if given an alternative according to various research. In the past, these models were not practical because they didn’t keep a charge long enough. However, recent developments now enable an entire day of use per charge.
Users won’t see substantial cost benefits by changing to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see an obvious improvement is in quality of life.
These modern models provide less aggravation on top of keeping a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t deal with the burden of continuously swapping out the batteries. They simply need to put the battery on the charger.
A disposable battery approaching the end of its life simply can’t function at full power. And you can’t tell how near the battery is to quitting. As a result, users risk putting themselves in a position where their battery could die at a crucial time. A dead battery will not only lead to a safety hazard, it could cause the user to miss important life moments.
Hearing Aids Come in Different Types
There are distinct advantages to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are made of. The ability to maintain a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one worthwhile option that manufacturers provide. You may be surprised to know that this same type of technology is what charges and powers your smart-phone.
Another type of modern rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Initially, these revolutionary 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 provide enough power to last you all day.
Some models even let you recharge the battery while it’s still in the hearing aid. 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 choose, rechargeable batteries will be significantly better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to decide which solution is ideal for your needs.
If you’re looking for more information about hearing aid technology or how to select the ideal hearing aid to satisfy your needs, we encourage you to take a look at our hearing aids section.