Rechargeable hearing aids are designed so that you’ll have to worry less about running low on batteries, but the technology might also make you slightly anxious when you depend on your devices to hear. Do rechargeable hearing aids work as well as advertised or do they even work at all?
Those questions are reasonable, as is the accompanying anxiousness. A hearing aid is often as necessary for the enjoyment of a tv show or a movie as it is for a trip to the grocery store or any other part of daily life. When a piece of technology affects so many areas of your life, it’s essential that it work properly and reliably.
What Type of Battery do I Have?
Most contemporary hearing aids have rechargeable batteries by default, so if you purchased your hearing aids recently it’s likely that your hearing aids will have one of two battery types. Silver-zinc batteries, which have a battery door on the back of the device, are rechargeable, but the batteries might need to be changed every so often. A Lithium-ion battery, however, will last throughout the life-cycle of the hearing device and, as such, those devices will not have that distinguishing battery door.
Rechargeable Hearing Aids Need Special Care
For the most part, rechargeable hearing aids do work, and they work well. The reliability of these devices has increased considerably in the last few years, as battery technologies have improved. As it is with any other electronic device, however, there are some easy maintenance steps that users can follow to improve the reliability of their rechargeable hearing aids.
- Keep Your Hearing Aids Clean and Dry: Your hearing aids will collect debris, dust, and moisture regardless of how often you use them. Your hearing aid might not fully charge if it is exposed to any of these three elements. When connecting your hearing aid to your charging station, as with any other time, it’s important to keep your device clean.
- Keep Your Hearing Aids on The Charging Station: If you regularly store your rechargeable hearing aids on their recharging station you can extend the life of your battery. The long term battery life is not reduced by charging a battery that is not fully drained.Actually, you can actually increase the life of the battery by making sure your hearing aids are charging when not in use. A convenient reminder, for most people, to charge their device when it’s not in use, is to set the charging station on a table beside their bed.
- Be Careful of Wires: Either the charging station or the hearing aid itself will have some type of wire element on most hearing aids. Being mindful of these wires is important for hearing aid users; do not pull or hold your device by these wires as this will damage the connections that allow your hearing aid to charge.
How to Replace a Rechargeable Battery
If you have lithium-ion batteries, they will probably last as long as your device does. So replacing those batteries won’t be something you ever have to worry about. Simply keep recharging your hearing aids as long as needed.
Hearing aids that rely on silver-zinc batteries, however, might call for fresh batteries periodically. The longevity of your battery can be improved by replacing them in the right way. As such, most people who use these hearing aids are counseled to:
- Before changing batteries, make sure you wash your hands.
- Ensure that your battery compartment is free of moisture and clean.
- Let the batteries sit out at room temperature for at least five minutes before removing any tabs that may be attached.
- Keep batteries in a room temperature spot that is also certain to be dry.
- Until you’re ready to use the batteries, don’t remove the plastic tabs or packaging.
Non-Use For Long Periods
Leaving your hearing aids on the charger over extended periods of time is no longer the way to store your hearing aids. If, for instance, you know that you won’t be wearing your hearing aids for several weeks or months, you can just remove the charger and store your hearing aids in a cool and dry place.
If your hearing aids utilize silver-zinc batteries, you might also think about leaving the battery door open in order to prevent moisture from corroding your batteries.
Rechargeable for Everyday Use
For most people, and for day to day use, charging your hearing aids once per day should be enough for all of your requirements. To get 24 hours worth of battery life with a lithium-ion battery will usually only require 3-4 hours per day.
Do rechargeable hearing aids work? They don’t only work, they are becoming more common all the time. To see all the different models, schedule an appointment with your local hearing aid retailer.