Rechargeable Batteries

How to Talk to Your Doctor: Choosing the Right Hearing Aids for You

If you're reading this post, hopefully you've already familiarized yourself with how to talk to your doctor about hearing loss. This is Part 2 of our "How to Talk to Your Doctor" series and will focus on the conversations following the initial hearing screening, after it has been determined that your level of hearing loss requires support from hearing aid technologies. 

First, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the various hearing aid options. There are in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, rechargeable-battery, iPhone-compatible, and many more hearing aid options from which to choose. Make a list of what is most important to you from a hearing aid perspective. Here are some things to consider:

  • How active is your lifestyle? Do you spend most of your days in a quiet or more social setting? Are you just trying to hear the TV better, or do you need to actively participate in group conversations? This will help you decide which features will work best with your lifestyle, such as noise reduction, directional microphones, wireless technologies, additional programming, and more.
  • How often are you on the phone? If your answer is "often," you should consider the iPhone/mobile phone compatible hearing aids. 
  • How important is discreetness? Hearing aids vary in discreetness, ranging from the most discreet completely-in-the-canal options to less discreet behind-the-ear technologies. Of course, each type also has its pros and cons. Be sure to discuss these with your audiologist.
  • Do you have a budget? Hearing aids also vary in costs, so it's important to discuss your personal budget with your audiologist when deciding which technology is best for you.
  • Are rechargeable batteries important? The latest hearing aid technologies offer rechargeable battery options. This is an important consideration from environmental, maintenance and cost perspectives. 
  • Can you take the hearing aid for a test drive? Hearing aids are an important investment. Before settling on a final option, ask if you can take them for a test drive. Even if it's not exactly the hearing aid you plan to order, it will give you a good idea of what you can expect and will help you prioritize features and programs. You can read one of our patient's reviews after a demo with the iPhone-compatible hearing aids. 

Finally, find a reputable, local audiologist. During the first few months, you'll be getting used to your hearing aids and will probably have many questions or will need to visit the office for minor adjustments. This is why it's important to find a local audiologist that you trust. It's also the reason we recommend against buying something as important as hearing aids online. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to your hearing. You'll need to work with your audiologist until you find the best solution for your hearing loss and lifestyle needs.

 

Rechargeable Hearing Aids: How ZPower is Changing the Landscape

Update: We now carry these in our Roanoke and Charlottesville (Crozet) offices. Call us to find out if you're eligible for this rechargeable battery upgrade. If you're in the market for a new pair of hearing aids, some manufacturers offer the ZPower batteries at no additional charge, as well as other incentives!

A new generation of rechargeable battery technologies has set out to make life easier for hearing aid consumers. The most common complaints we hear among hearing aid users relate to batteries: they fail at the most inconvenient times; they can be expensive to replace; and, they're bad for the environment.

Depending on the sophistication of your technology, such as streaming capabilities, they may only last a few days! According to a study of over 500 hearing aid users, 70 percent said they want rechargeable hearing aids, even though only 11 percent said they currently have them. Our "No More Batteries" blog post from last year continues to be our most-read post to date, so we know this is a topic that many of our patients are interested in learning more about.

The ZPower silver-zinc batteries are the latest to hit the market. ZPower is an independent battery company, which means its rechargeable batteries can be used instead of standard disposable batteries in many manufacturers' hearing aid models. This works by replacing the original battery compartment with ZPower’s retrofit battery compartment, which we can do right in our office.

Why ZPower?

ZPower’s silver-zinc rechargeable batteries offer hearing aid wearers 24-hours of use time—even with streaming technology. If you forget to charge the battery, you can replace the ZPower batteries with the standard disposable zinc-air batteries - they're interchangeable! Additionally, ZPower batteries are safe, 100% recyclable, mercury-free, and non-flammable. (Remember the recent lithium-ion Samsung phone recall? Lithium-ion batteries are used in many rechargeable hearing aid models and, therefore, have to be placed in sealed cases to ensure safety.) ZPower's proprietary silver-zinc battery technology also can be recharged hundreds of times without losing significant capacity. An extra bonus: they're made in the U.S.A. The silver-zinc technology was originally developed by NASA for its Apollo moon missions. 

What's Next?

The hearing aid industry is making vast strides with the introduction of new technologies every year. Looking to the near future, we should expect to see further developments from other major hearing aid manufactures and third-party companies. Battery life in hearing aids is getting shorter as technology improves. That's why we're so grateful that companies like ZPower are offering our patients more innovative solutions. 

We will continue to post about rechargeable hearing aid batteries as news of new products becomes available. In the meantime, feel free to call us for more information or ask about it at your next appointment. 

No More Batteries! Introducing Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Phonak Rechargeable Hearing Aids and Charging Station

Phonak Rechargeable Hearing Aids and Charging Station

Changing batteries is one of the biggest complaints of hearing aid users. Typical battery usage can range from 3-14 days, depending on the type of hearing loss, the size and type of the hearing aid, and the amount of time the hearing aid is in use. The advanced digital technologies found in the newer models also use more battery power. 

Thanks to ever-evolving technology, several manufacturers have introduced rechargeable hearing aids to the market recently. 

Siemens Rechargeable Hearing Aids and eCharger

Siemens Rechargeable Hearing Aids and eCharger

Siemens has a few lines of rechargeable hearing aids. Siemens Pure and Siemens Carat hearing aids can be charged for 6 hours for up to 18 hours of listening time. A car charger adapter also is available. These batteries last up to one year.

Phonak Mini Charging Station

Phonak Mini Charging Station

Phonak takes it a step further with its Audeo B-R line, which was released in August. With a simple 3-hour charge, you'll have up to 24 hours of performance. For those who are always on the go, Phonak offers a 30-minute charge for up to 6 hours of listening time. Additionally, these lithium-ion batteries last through the lifetime of a hearing aid. The battery compartment actually is sealed. No more opening and closing!

Signia Cellion primax hearing aids and charging station

Signia Cellion primax hearing aids and charging station

Just last month, Signia introduced the Cellion™ primax™ hearing aid. Like Phonak's Audeo B-R, the Cellion contains no battery door and gives wearers up to 24 hours on a single charge. The difference is that Cellion's OneShell design contains no charging contacts, meaning you don't have to align the hearing aids inside a charger. Nor does it matter which side you place the hearing aids on inside the charger. Once inserted, the hearing aids automatically turn off and begin to charge. The full charging process takes up to 4 hours. Cellion also offers a quick 30-minute charge for up to 7 hours of hearing enjoyment. And, the charging unit is equipped with a standard micro-USB interface that allows wearers to charge their hearing aids with nearly any USB-compatible device.

If you are interested in learning more about these models and more, please feel free to contact us!