While hearing aids are a benefit to patients who need them, replacing their tiny batteries on a regular basis can be a nuisance. However, CEENTA now has hearing aids that eliminate the need to change batteries.
Hearing aid vendor Phonak sells rechargeable hearing aids. A three-hour charge gives them 24 hours of battery life, while a one-hour charge gives them 12 hours of battery life. This could vary, however, if the hearing aids are used to stream sound directly from devices. Rechargeable hearing aids are good for 1,500 charging cycles, or roughly four to five years.
The computer chip inside rechargeable hearing aids is comparable to the same technology in battery-operated hearing aids, and the sound quality is the same.
Rechargeable hearing aids have a number of advantages. Batteries for similar-quality, non-rechargeable types of hearing aids would typically need to be replaced every week. Patients also wouldn’t have to worry about batteries dying on them in the middle of the day.
Because the batteries don’t need to be replaced regularly, they are greatly beneficial for patients who have neuropathy or numbness in their hands or fingers. They also save the patient money in the long run.
Rechargeable hearing aids are also better for the environment, since they reduce the number of batteries that are thrown away.
Rechargeable hearing aids could also have potential safety benefits. Traditional hearing aid batteries are pill-sized and there is a risk of them getting mixed up with medication. If swallowed, they would be harmful. While the rechargeable batteries are also dangerous, not needing to replace these batteries eliminates the risk of them being accidentally swallowed with pills.
Rechargeable hearing aids are appropriate for teenagers and adults, provided the audiologist recommends them for their patient. However, at this point in time they are only available in the Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC) style, which is not always recommended for small children. Hopefully they will soon come in the traditional behind-the-ear (BTE) style that children wear. Parents should ask their child’s audiologist for recommendations.
Patients cannot get rechargeable hearing aids with Telecoils at this time,. Telecoils are tiny coils of wire around a core that, when turned on, work as antennas to pick up magnetic signals and stream sound into hearing aids, thus eliminating background noise.
Patient response to rechargeable hearing aids has been very positive.
The Lyric is placed in the ear canal and is 100 percent invisible. It is water- and wax-resistant, and can be worn through daily activities like showering, exercising, and sleeping. It is not waterproof, however, and should not be submerged.
The Lyric is a great option for patients who may have poor dexterity or cognitive issues
A hearing care provider would be able to determine if the Lyric is a good choice for a patient.
Both hearing aid types are available in the CEENTA offices that offer audiology services. To make an appointment with a provider, please call 704-295-3000.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician.
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