Have you been using hearing aids for a while? If so, you are aware of the life changing attributes they bring to your every day, amplifying the sounds and the voices of the people and places who improve the quality of your life. While your hearing aids may be indispensable there is always room for improvement. Most aptly, it can be incredibly frustrating when your batteries run out. It seems like it happens at the most inopportune moment at times, and if you’re not prepared with replacement batteries it can interrupt plans, making them null and void. The good news is that more and more, newer hearing aids are offering rechargeable batteries to illuminate the hassle of having to change out your batteries all too often.
Batteries of the Past
The replaceable batteries of the past came most commonly in the form of disposable zinc-air. For these batteries to become activated you would pull a tab which allowed for the oxygen from the air to oxidizes with the zinc in the battery and create a charge. The larger the battery the longer the charge with some lasting as long as 14 days, while smaller ones, designed for more discrete models lasted 3-5 days. It has always been recommended that in order to get the most out of your zinc air batteries to wait 2-5 minutes before putting the battery in the hearing aid. This allows time for oxygen to react with the zinc for the most optimal charge and longest battery life.
We often speak of rechargeable hearing aid batteries as new technology; however, they’ve been around for over 30 year. The issue that kept them from widespread use was their inability to hold a sufficient charge to last through the day. Of course, no one would be interested in a product which needed to be removed and recharged in the middle of the day! However, as of recent, two new battery technologies have fixed that issue, making rechargeable hearing aids the new standard in hearing technology. The two most common types include:
Lithium-ion – Commonly used in computers, cell phones and even in Teslas, these batteries deliver lasting power to your hearing device. In fact, most hearing aids using this type of battery need only to be charged at the end of the day lasting a potential 24-30 hours, with a lifespan of 4 – 5 years. While these batteries are slightly heavier than other models and difficult to service, they do offer improved water resistance.
Silver Zinc Rechargeable Hearing Aids – What separates these from lithium-ion batteries is that they are notably lighter and that they can easily be removed to be used with a disposable battery in an emergency. Other than that, they tend to be slightly more expensive than lithium -ion but can hold a charge easily for 24 hours. Also, these batteries are easily recyclable, non- toxic and nonflammable. On the other hand, these batteries only have a year lifespan, needing to be replaced annually.
Dexterity Issues with Replicable Batteries
Perhaps the greatest benefit of rechargeable batteries which can hold a daily charge is the relief they offer those with dexterity issues. While hearing loss can happen at any age, the demographic most affected are those 65 and older. With advanced age often comes arthritis. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports That nearly half of adults 65 and older have some form of arthritis. This has affected people’s ability to navigate the use of the cumbersome battery doors and tiny parts when needing to replace batteries for generations. It is believed that this has been one of the largest obstacles in helping older adults to treat their hearing loss with hearing aids. The beauty of lithium- Ion batteries and Silver Zinc batteries is that they eliminate the need to mess with tiny batteries and parts every 3-5 days. Instead, enjoy plugging your hearing devices in at the end of the day so they are fresh and ready to use when you wake!
Schedule a Hearing Consultation
There is a lot to think about when it comes to rechargeable hearing aids. If you think rechargeable batteries are right for you, we are here to help. Contact us today to explore all your options. We can help find just the right one for you!