Rechargeable hearing aid batteries are a smart idea – in principle. But are they practical in the real world? When first introduced, rechargeable hearing aid batteries didn’t fit into any models other than the over-the-ear type because they were so large. They also didn’t hold a charge for very long and took a long time to recharge. 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.
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. 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 $300-400; 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 $100-200, 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 70, 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. 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.
As a result, it can be said that rechargeable batteries are a viable option for hearing aids, one that can help you both to save money and to save the environment. In addition, using rechargeable batteries does not mean you lose the option of using disposable ones; if you’re stuck somewhere without your charger, you can just buy disposable batteries and still use your hearing aid successfully.