Worrying about losing battery power is something you shouldn’t have to do with rechargeable hearing aids, but when you rely on this technology, it might make you a little anxious. Do rechargeable hearing aids work as well as marketed or do they even work at all?
Those questions are reasonable, as is the accompanying anxiety. A hearing aid is often as important 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 everyday life. When a piece of technology affects so many facets of your life, it’s important that it work properly and dependably.
What Kind of Battery do I Have?
By default, most contemporary hearing aids have rechargeable batteries, 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 can usually be identified by a battery door on the device, are rechargeable, but the batteries might have to be replaced every now and then. A Lithium-ion battery, however, will last throughout the life-cycle of the hearing device and, as such, those devices will not have that telltale 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 enhanced dramatically in the last several years, as battery technologies have advanced. In order to improve reliability, however, there are a few maintenance measures users can take as they would with any other electronic technology.
- The Charging Station is Where Your Hearing Aids Should be Kept: If your hearing aids have rechargeable batteries, you can increase the battery life of your device by making sure that you consistently store your hearing aids on their charging station. Charging a battery that is not fully drained does not shorten long-term battery life. In fact, making sure that your hearing aids are charging when not in use can actually maximize your long-term battery life. A simple reminder, for many people, to charge their device when it’s not in use, is to place the charging station on a table beside their bed.
- Be Mindful of Wires: Most hearing aids will contain a wire element of some kind, either on the charging station or on the hearing aids themselves. Most hearing aid users are counseled to be aware of these wires; do not pull or hold your device by these wires as this can damage the connections that enable your hearing aid to charge.
- Keep Your Hearing Aids Clean and Dry: Your hearing aids will collect moisture, dust, and debris regardless of how often you use them. Any combination of these three elements can diminish the capacity of your battery and can hinder charging as much as it needs. When connecting your hearing aid to your charging station, as with any other time, it’s important to keep your device clean.
How to Change a Rechargeable Battery
Lithium-ion batteries will normally last the as long as your device does. So changing those batteries shouldn’t be something you ever have to worry about. Simply continue recharging your hearing aids as long as needed.
However, you will need to periodically change the batteries if you have a hearing aid that uses silver-zinc batteries. The longevity of your battery can be improved by replacing them in the right way. As a result, most people who use these hearing aids are counseled to:
- Store batteries in a room temperature spot that is also certain to be dry.
- Don’t remove any packaging or plastic tabs until you’re ready to use batteries.
- Let the batteries sit out at room temperature for at least five minutes before taking off any tabs that may be attached.
- Before replacing batteries, be sure you wash your hands.
- Clean and free of moisture is the state that your battery compartment should be kept in.
Non-Use For Long Periods
Keeping your hearing aids on the charger for long periods of time is no longer the best way to store your hearing aids. Just unplug your hearing aid and store it in a dry cool spot if, for instance, you know you won’t be using them for a few weeks or a month.
Consider leaving the battery door open so you can stop moisture from corroding the batteries if you have silver-zinc batteries.
Rechargeable for Everyday Use
All your basic requirements should be met if you charge your hearing aids once a day. 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? Not only do they work, but rechargeable hearing aids will probably become much more common and reliable as the technology continues to improve. Make an appointment with your local hearing aid retailer to see all the different models