In theory, rechargeable batteries for hearing aids are certainly a great idea, but in the past this theory did not always work out in reality. 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 five to six 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.
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. 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 300 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.
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. In contrast, some of the newer aids that use rechargeable batteries, don’t even have to be opened. You simply place the entire unit into the recharging station overnight. 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. 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.