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What is a Rechargeable Hearing Aid?

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  • Written By: A. Scott
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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A rechargeable hearing aid can be powered by batteries that are rechargeable or it may function without a battery at all. Either option eliminates the need for standard hearing aid batteries that must be replaced frequently. Typically, this type of hearing aid is removed from the ear and placed into or attached to a charging device or connected to a power source.

This type of hearing aid is typically worn by individuals with moderate hearing loss. As with all hearing aids, the function of a rechargeable hearing aid is to amplify sound inside the ear. In its simplest form, this type of hearing aid is charged when it isn't being worn.

A rechargeable hearing aid typically consists of four parts. The first part is a microphone that picks up sound and converts it into an electrical signal, which is sent to the amplifier. The amplifier increases the sound's volume and sends it to the receiver. The third part is a receiver, which changes the electrical signal into sound again and sends it into the ear, where it is carried to the brain. A battery provides power to allow the hearing aid to function.

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There are different options for fit and placement within the ear: behind the ear, in the ear, in the canal, and completely in the canal. Patients suffering with arthritis may find a rechargeable hearing aid helpful because the batteries do not need to be changed frequently. Individuals with vision problems may also benefit because the typical hearing aid battery is small and sometimes requires the use of tweezers to place it correctly.

Many rechargeable hearing aids are worn behind-the-ear. This cosmetic drawback will sometimes cause individuals to avoid the rechargeable type and choose a non-rechargeable in-ear device. More in-the-ear rechargeable units are being developed, however. They have traditionally have been more expensive to purchase than their standard-battery counterparts, but because the market continues to expand globally, the price has declined.

Most rechargeable hearing aids contain batteries that need to be recharged periodically. Like other batteries, rechargeable ones will need to be replaced eventually. There are some other systems, however, that include an internal power cell rather than batteries; these hearing aids are typically charged overnight when not in use. Some manufacturers are making solar-powered battery chargers that require no external power supply.

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