Rechargeable hearing aids are manufactured so that you’ll need to worry less about running low on batteries, but the technology may also make you slightly anxious when you depend on your devices to hear. Do rechargeable hearing aids work as well as marketed or do they even work at all?
Those questions are understandable, 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. It’s important that a piece of technology works correctly and reliably, especially when it impacts so many facets of life.
How Do I Know What Kind of Battery I Have?
By default, most modern hearing aids have rechargeable batteries, so if you got 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 may need 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 distinguishing battery door.
How to Care For Your Rechargeable Hearing Aid
For the most part, rechargeable hearing aids do work, and they work well. As battery technology has improved in the last several years, the dependability of these devices has increased dramatically. And, like any other electronic device, however, there are a few easy maintenance procedures that users can follow to increase the dependability of their rechargeable hearing aids.
- Keep Your Hearing Aids Dry and Clean: No matter how often you use or do not use your hearing aids, they have plenty of occasion to collect dust, debris, and moisture. Any combination of these three things can diminish the efficiency of your battery and can interfere with charging as much as it needs. That’s why it’s important to keep your hearing aids dry and clean especially when connecting your hearing aid to its charging station.
- The Charging Station is Where Your Hearing Aids Should be Kept: If you regularly store your rechargeable hearing aids on their recharging station you can increase the life of your battery. Charging a battery that is not fully drained does not shorten long-term battery life. In fact, ensuring that your hearing aids are charging when not in use can actually benefit your long-term battery life. A convenient reminder, for most people, to charge their device when not used, is to place the charging station on a table next to 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. Most hearing aid users are counseled to be mindful of these wires; 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 Change a Rechargeable Battery
Lithium-ion batteries should last the lifespan of your device. Consequently, you should not need to worry about changing those batteries. Your hearing aids can then be simply charged 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 increased by changing them in the right way. As a result, most people who use these hearing aids are counseled to:
- Make sure you have a dry, room temperature place to store your batteries.
- Don’t eliminate any plastic tabs or packaging until you’re ready to use batteries.
- Be sure you wash your hands before replacing your hearing aid batteries.
- Clean and free of moisture is the state that your battery compartment should be kept in.
- Let the batteries sit out at room temperature for at least five minutes before removing any tabs that may be attached.
Non-Use For Long Periods
If you are planning not to use your hearing aids for long amounts of time, leaving them on the charger may no longer be the best way to store your devices. Just unplug your hearing aid and put it in a dry cool spot if, for instance, you know you won’t be wearing them for several weeks or a month.
Consider leaving the battery door open so you can prevent moisture from corroding the batteries if you use silver-zinc batteries.
Keep it Charged Every Day
For most people, and for day to day use, charging your hearing aids once a day should be adequate for all of your needs. A lithium-ion battery, as an example, will typically require just 3-4 hours to charge enough battery power for a 24 hour period.
Do rechargeable hearing aids work? They don’t just work, they are becoming more common every day. Schedule an appointment with your local hearing aid retailer to see all the different models