Up to now, the concept of rechargeable batteries for hearing aids was a notion that was far better in theory than it was in practice. 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. The best of them only lasted for 5 to 6 hours, not the 12 to 14 hours that the average wearer of hearing aids needs.
Technological advances since then have improved many things – the size of the batteries, the materials used to make them (and thus how long they hold a charge), and in the rechargers themselves. 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. To emphasize these two qualities, during a 3-year span a binaural (both ears) hearing aid user will go through an average of three hundred disposable batteries, which would have to be replaced at a cost of $300 to $400 dollars, and would have to be disposed of. 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.
One advantage of replaceable batteries that you might not immediately think of is not having to deal with the plastic containers that disposable batteries come in, which tend to be challenging for those over seventy, and thus most in need of hearing aids. Some of the newest rechargeable hearing aids don’t even require you to open the aid to remove the battery; you place the entire unit in the recharging station overnight. 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.
So these days rechargeable batteries for your hearing aid are not only practical, they will save you money and help you to protect the environment. Plus, if you’re traveling or stuck somewhere without a charger handy, you always have the option of using disposable batteries until you get home.