The rechargeable batteries are now on their second generation and have improved greatly. The first generation was pretty bad and I wouldn’t recommend that technology unless the patient had a vision or dexterity problem.
The new technology is lithium ion and is much more reliable and significantly better. There are however, some things to keep in mind.
1. Using a rechargeable system costs more up front and the batteries still need to be replaced occassionally. You will not save money by switching to rechargeable batteries. They cost more up front and you will not recoup the expense.
2. Traditional zinc air batteries are inexpensive but have to be changed regularly. There is no environmental risk with zinc air batteries. They can be thrown in the trash.
3. Lithium Ion batteries are toxic and have to be disposed of properly when the batteries are changed. This is done by your audiologist or the manufacturer.
4. Lithium Ion batteries don’t last forever. They have to be changed. While the aid is under warranty there generally isn’t any additional charge for replacing the battery. There is a charge once the hearing aid warranty has expired.
5. The Lithium Ion batteries require a dedicated charger. If you travel, you have to take the charger with you. For most of us, that means an additional charger to pack. For some, that is no big deal, for others it is one more thing to have to deal with. It really depends on how you feel.
6. If you are visually impaired or have dexterity problems, a rechargeable system can be a blessing.
7. Most of us lost power for several days during and after Hurricane Irma. You must be able to charge your hearing aids in the event of a power failure lasting several days. This means that it is necessary to have a backup power supply.
I hope you have found this information helpful. We are always happy to help you pick the right solution for you.
If you or a family member is having any difficulties with hearing or hearing aids, please give us a call at 727-323-2471 and set up an appointment. We can help you.
Susan E. Terry, Au.D., F-AAA, F-NAP
Doctor of Audiology
P.S. We are here to help if you have any questions about your hearing, feel free to give us a call at 727-323-2471