On paper, re-chargeable batteries for hearing aids are certainly a good idea, but in the past this idea didn’t always succeed in practice. 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. Instead of the twelve to fourteen hours of use that hearing aid wearers need, these early batteries commonly lasted only five to six hours.
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. Together, these enhancements propelled rechargeable hearing aid batteries so far forward that they are now more eco-friendly and often more cost-efficient than disposable batteries. 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 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. In contrast, the hearing aid wearer using rechargeable batteries would only need 6 of them for that same three-year period, none of which needed to be thrown away; total cost (including the recharger) would be in the range of 100 to 200 dollars.
A side benefit is not having to deal with the plastic packaging that disposable batteries come in. These tightly sealed, small packages are known to be quite challenging for older hearing aid wearers. 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. For convenience you can now get a portable battery recharger. It is about the size and shape of a pen making it easy to carry with you and doesn’t require an external power source.
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.