If you are one of the 30-million Americans over the age of 55 who has some
Rechargeable Hearing Aids: Do They Really Work?
There are many hearing aids you can choose from. Like all modern electronic devices, rechargeable versions are available. Whether you use behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITC) or in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids, there is a limited range of rechargeable hearing aids you can choose. While you can purchase one freely, you should always consult your audiologist for the best advice.
Rechargeable hearing devices are almost the same as standard devices, but there are some key differences you should be aware of prior to your purchase. The main differences are how the batteries work and charge and the limited range. Here’s a quick overview of rechargeable hearing aids so you can make an informed decision.
An Introduction to Rechargeable Hearing Aids
It is more than likely you have used a rechargeable device like a phone or tablet. Fortunately, charging a hearing aid is no different than with these devices. However, where standard hearing aids require battery replacement when they run out, you charge a rechargeable hearing aid using its associated charging dock.
Fitted docks plug into standard power outlets, and it’s recommended you charge your device each night. Nightly charging will supply enough power to your device for around 30 hours on a full charge. Charging docks are low power devices and doing so is no more difficult than charging your smartphone or tablet.
Pros and Cons of Rechargeable Hearing Devices
Let’s begin with the pros and cons before we get started. Like any technological device, rechargeable hearing aids have good points, and some are lacking.
- As easy to charge like a mobile phone
- 30 hours full charge
- 5-year battery lifespan
- Doesn’t require acid-based batteries
- Suitable for limited dexterity patients
- Only BTE offers a wide range
- Cannot charge without the dock
- Must be charged each night
- Requires a specialist for battery replacement
As great as rechargeable hearing aids are, as you can see, there are some negative points. Therefore, you should consider all these points before switching. However, the good news is that the use of rechargeable hearing aids is increasing since the technology is constantly evolving.
How the Batteries Work
The batteries inside a rechargeable hearing aid need a charging dock for power. However, your device is fitted with the correct batteries, and there is no need for you to change them regularly. Also, the batteries inside your device are designed to work perfectly with that model. Using the associated dock, your batteries will recharge quickly overnight with enough power for the next day.
You can use rechargeable batteries in your current non-rechargeable device. However, standard devices aren’t designed to work with rechargeable batteries. Therefore, if you prefer rechargeable batteries, you should consider switching to a rechargeable device. Again, you can ask your audiologist about devices. However, you should be aware that the range of models you can choose from is limited beyond BTE devices.
Benefits of a Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Rechargeable hearing aids recharge in much the same way as your other devices like your phone or laptop for convenience. And a full charge will provide around 30 hours of battery life. With continuous use, your device’s batteries should last for approximately five years before they need replacing by a professional.
Rechargeable devices are also safer for children. Standard devices require disposable batteries, yet disposable batteries contain hazardous acids that are unsafe for children who decide to eat them. Additionally, rechargeable devices are better for those with limited dexterity. However, some older people or those with dexterity issues find that changing batteries is tedious. In some cases, people choose not to wear their devices because of this.
Disadvantages of a Rechargeable Solutions
One of the main disadvantages of rechargeable is there are far fewer models from which you can choose. Because of the casing required to hold the batteries, there are more BTE models. However, you can choose from a limited range of rechargeable ITE and ITC devices.
Also, you can only charge your device with its associated dock, and you risk being without hearing if you don’t charge it overnight. Therefore, a low charge could be disastrous if you take a long trip and forget the charging dock.
When batteries reach the end of their lifespan after five years, you cannot simply replace them. Because they are enclosed in a sealed case, rechargeable batteries require an audiologist to replace them. So, you will be without your device, and therefore, your hearing, while you wait for this to be done.
To learn more about rechargeable hearing aids at Imagine Hearing Solutions, contact us today at (530) 392-4533.