Rechargeable hearing aid batteries are a great option – in principle. But are they sensible in real life? 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 5 to 6 hours of battery life out of them. That was less than half of the twelve to fourteen hours most hearing aid users require for a single day.
Numerous technological advancements were needed to make rechargeable batteries a practical option. Batteries became smaller and held a charge longer. And the rechargers themselves were redesigned. All of these changes add up to making rechargeable batteries more eco-friendly and cost-efficient, and thus an excellent choice for use in your hearing aid. For example, over a three-year period the average hearing aid wearer would use up an average of three hundred disposable batteries at a cost of $300 to $400 dollars; all of these batteries would have to be disposed of in a proper recycling bin and not just thrown in the trash. 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.
Other benefits of rechargeable batteries include, interestingly enough, having to open fewer sealed-tightly-in-plastic-to-avoid-easy-access battery packages, which can often be a challenge for those over seventy, who just happen to be the primary wearers of hearing aids. 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. There are even portable battery rechargers, the size of a pen, which you can use anywhere because they don’t need to be plugged into a wall socket.
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.