On paper, rechargeable batteries for hearing aids are definitely a good idea, however in the past this idea did not always work out in reality. Early rechargeable hearing aid batteries were so large that they could only be used in over-the-ear type aids; they also took hours to recharge and then didn’t hold a charge for very long. Early adopters could get five to six hours of battery life out of them. That was less than half of the 12 to 14 hours most hearing aid users require for a single day.
However, many advances have been made in the years since – in the materials used for the batteries, in their size, in the length of time they hold a charge, and in the technologies used to recharge them.
As a result, rechargeable batteries are in many cases not only a good idea, but one that is far more eco-friendly and cost-efficient. A typical binaural hearing aid user would go through about 300 disposable batteries in a three-year period at a cost of $300 or more. During that same three-year period of time, a hearing aid user would have gone through an average of only 6 rechargeable batteries, at a cost of 100 to 200 dollars, including the recharging station; nothing would have to be thrown away.
A side benefit is not having to deal with the plastic packaging that disposable batteries come in. These tightly sealed, small packages are known to be quite challenging for older hearing aid wearers. With some rechargeable hearing aids, you don’t even need to open them to remove the batteries; simply place the entire aid in a recharging unit over night, and it’s all done for you automatically. Other chargers make it unnecessary to return home to recharge the batteries; they consist of a battery-powered pen-sized charger that you carry with you and can be used anywhere.
Rechargeable hearing aid batteries may have gotten off to a rocky start, but today that are an excellent viable option. They will help you save money and reduce waste. And, you can always revert to disposable batteries in a pinch. If you don’t have access to your charger, just pop in a few disposable batteries in the meantime.