In theory, re-chargeable batteries for hearing aids are certainly a great idea, however in the past this theory didn’t always succeed in practice. The first rechargeable hearing aid batteries were large (meaning that they could only be used in over-the-ear type aids), took hours to recharge, and did not hold that charge for very long. The best of them only lasted for 5 to 6 hours, not the 12 to 14 hours that the average wearer of hearing aids needs.
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. All of these changes add up to making rechargeable batteries more eco-friendly and cost-efficient, and thus an excellent choice for use in your hearing aid. A typical binaural hearing aid user would go through about 300 disposable batteries in a 3 year period at a cost of $300 or more. 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. Other chargers make it unnecessary to return home to recharge the batteries; they consist of a battery-powered pen-sized charger that you carry with you and can be used anywhere.
So these days rechargeable batteries for your hearing aid are not only practical, they will save you money and help you to protect 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.