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Millions of Americans use hearing aids and know what a wonderful tool they can be. In fact, research has shown that treating hearing loss with these devices can positively impact health, relationships, and communication. But, as wonderful as hearing aids are, the reality is that a good hearing aid is an investment and proper maintenance is vital. That’s why it’s important to consider all of the powering options available to you as a consumer. This blog compares traditional disposable batteries and rechargeable hearing aid batteries to help you make the right decision for your hearing needs.

Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries

The most popular type of disposable hearing aid battery is a zinc air button battery. Zinc-air batteries come with a factory-sealed sticker which essentially allows them to remain dormant until the sticker is removed. Once the sticker is removed, oxygen interacts with the zinc, activating the battery for use.

Pros of Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries

  • The most common disposable battery size (size 312) has a life expectancy of between three to 10 days.
  • Individual battery costs are very low.

Cons of Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries

  • The wearer must be constantly aware of how much power remains in the battery.
  • Battery life can change dramatically based on humidity, degree of hearing loss, and other factors outside of the wearer’s control.
  • Changing disposable batteries can be tricky, as the batteries are very small and the packages are tightly sealed.
  • The wearer must frequently purchase replacement batteries. On average, hearing aid wearers change 100 hearing aid batteries each year.

Rechargeable Hearing Aids

While rechargeable hearing aids have been on the market for years, they weren’t popular in early years because of their low power output. Despite their early hurdles, there is a reason why rechargeable hearing aids are now becoming so popular. In 2016, a new rechargeable hearing aid technology arrived on the market, Lithium-Ion. These rechargeable batteries have a number of advantages over disposable batteries.

Pros of Rechargeable Hearing Aids

  • No need to fiddle with tiny batteries for frequent battery changes.
  • Most models reach a full charge in less than five hours.
  • Charging is easy – just place the hearing aid in the charging case.
  • They do not require frequent battery changes.
  • Most models provide a full 24-hour lifespan, including up to five hours of streaming audio.
  • A single rechargeable battery essentially replaces 100 single-use batteries, saving a tremendous amount of waste from contaminating the environment.

Cons of Rechargeable Hearing Aids

  • Lithium-ion batteries must be sealed inside their device, so when they reach the end of their lifespan, the battery must be replaced by the manufacturer.
  • Because lithium-ion batteries are sealed, they cannot be swapped for a disposable battery.

Which Type of Hearing Aid is Right for Me?

While only you can decide which type of hearing aid is right for you, it is our goal to provide you will all of the information you need to make an informed decision. After all, a hearing aid is an important investment and we want to help you benefit as much as possible from your device. We are passionate about providing our patients with customized care to meet their specific needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a Whisper Hearing Centers audiologist.

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