Sierra Nevada Hearing Aid Center offers many types of hearing aids to better hear the world around you. Patients frequently ask about types of hearing aid batteries and if rechargeable hearing aid batteries are a better fit for their lifestyle than disposable batteries. How do you know if rechargeable hearing aids are right for you?
First, what is a rechargeable hearing aid? Rechargeable hearing aids have batteries built into them that do not require regular removal. This allows the hearing aid owner to dock the hearing aids to charge, rather than removing traditional disposable batteries. You can think of this like charging your phone each night, but for your hearing aids. Rechargeable hearing aids are more technologically advanced than they used to be. They are small yet deliver power to perform.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
There are many advantages to using rechargeable batteries with your hearing aids; they have a long shelf life, are safer for children and are easier to handle than traditional disposable batteries. People with dexterity issues may prefer rechargeable hearing aids because disposable batteries are typically small with difficult packaging that can make changing batteries a frustrating process.
Rechargeable lithium ion batteries can hold a charge for up to 30 hours and can last up to 5 years while traditional disposable batteries need to be changed in as little as days, depending on the hearing aid model.
While some people like rechargeable hearing aids there are some disadvantages. Rechargeable hearing aids can have an additional cost associated with them, including the charging unit and there are fewer hearing aid styles that work with this type of battery. Also, having to recharge a battery on a dock each evening can be a hindrance for some users.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
There are three types of rechargeable hearing aid batteries: nickel-metal hydride batteries, silver-zinc batteries, and lithium-ion batteries.
Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Rechargeable Batteries have been used in hearing aids for over a decade. These batteries typically don’t last long before needing a charge and sometimes cannot operate for a full day. These batteries usually need to be replaced annually.
Silver-Zinc Rechargeable Batteries have enough power for a full day of continuous use on a single charge. Because these batteries are removable, you can swap them out while another set of batteries is charging. These non-toxic batteries are recyclable and need to be replaced annually.
Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries are most commonly known for powering mobile phones, tablets and medical devices. They deliver enough power for 24 hours of continuous use for hearing aids. Lithium-ion batteries are non-removable because they contain toxic components, but sealing them into the hearing aid device protects the battery and the consumer.
Although rechargeable batteries initially cost more, they typically cost equal to less than disposable batteries at the end of their life. There are many factors to consider when buying a hearing aid or selecting batteries and it is important to consider all options with your healthcare provider. If you are looking for more information about rechargeable hearing aid batteries and if they are a good fit for you, contact our team today or schedule a hearing aid consultation.