On paper, rechargeable batteries for hearing aids are certainly a great idea, however in the past this idea did not always work out 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 five to six hours, not the 12 to 14 hours that the average wearer of hearing aids needs.
However, many advances have been made in the years since – in the materials used for the batteries, in their size, in the length of time they hold a charge, and in the technologies used to recharge them. 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. For example, over a 3-year period the average hearing aid wearer would use up an average of 300 disposable batteries at a cost of 300 to 400 dollars; all of these batteries would have to be disposed of in a proper recycling bin and not just thrown in the trash. In the same time period, the cost of rechargeable batteries (plus the charger) would be about $100-200.
Other benefits of rechargeable batteries include, interestingly enough, having to open fewer sealed-tightly-in-plastic-to-avoid-easy-access battery packages, which can often be a challenge for those over 70, who just happen to be the primary wearers of hearing aids. In contrast, some of the newer aids that use rechargeable batteries, don't even have to be opened. You simply place the entire unit into the recharging station overnight. There are even portable battery rechargers, the size of a pen, which you can use anywhere because they don't need to be plugged into a wall socket.
Rechargeable hearing aid batteries may have gotten off to a rocky start, but today that are an excellent viable option. They will help you save money and reduce waste. In addition, using rechargeable batteries does not mean you lose the option of using disposable ones; if you're stuck somewhere without your charger, you can just buy disposable batteries and still use your hearing aid successfully.