Hearing aid batteries in Somerset and Devon

Rechargeable hearing aids, available at the Honiton hearing centre, Devon. Ear wax removal also available.

How long should the hearing aid battery last after a full charge, and how does Bluetooth affect this?

News update by Honiton hearing centre.

Courtesy of ZPower

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About Our Expert…

Barry A. Freeman, PhD

Barry Freeman, PhD, is vice president of business development for ZPower, and has been leader and educator in the global audiology community for over 35 years. Prior to joining ZPower, he was CEO and president of Audiology Consultants Inc (ACI), a private audiology consulting firm, and senior director of Audiology and Education for Starkey Hearing Technologies, a global manufacturer of hearing aids. Dr Freeman has served as chair and professor of Audiology at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and has taught full time or as an adjunct professor in some of the most distinguished audiology programs in the country. Additionally, he owned and practiced for 20 years at the Center for Audiology in Clarksville, Tenn, and Hearing Services of Kentucky in Hopkinsville, Ky. He is a past president of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), served on the AAA Board of Directors for 6 years, and continues to serve on several professional boards.

Q & As: This Week’s Top Selections

Q: How long should the battery last after a full charge?  How much does Bluetooth activity affect this? —Brent Spehar

A: This is a great and very important question.  Battery life is dependent on several factors including the amount of capacity of the battery, how fast the hearing aid drains the current, and the wear behaviors and habits of the user.

Much like a car's mileage range depends on its gas tank and the owner's driving habits, the battery life of a hearing aid depends on the capacity of the battery, and the listening enviroments and use of the various hearing aid functions.

Much like how a car’s mileage range depends on its gas tank, the driving conditions, and the owner’s driving habits, a hearing aid’s battery life depends on the capacity of the battery, the wearer’s listening environments, and use of the various hearing aid functions, including audio streaming.

I like to use the example of an automobile.  How many gallons of gas does the fuel tank hold or, for hearing aid batteries, how many mAh capacity is in the battery?  How many miles per gallon does the car use or how many mA does the battery drain both when streaming and not streaming?  And, finally, is the car driven on the highway or in the city and is the air conditioner on or off?  Or, for hearing aids, how many hours per day does the hearing aid stream?  Does the hearing aid use 2.4 GHz streaming or does it is use NFMI with an intermediate device that has its own battery?  And, what features are turned on or off on the hearing aid?

Ask Your Question!

Send your questions to editor@hearingreview.com or via the comment box below.

Once you answer these questions, you can figure out “how long the battery will last after a full charge.”  I gave some example calculations in the HRarticle:  The Changing Landscape of Hearing Aid Batteries (Hearing Review, October 31, 2017).  

Please note a factor we have learned in our electronics’ lab.  Not all hearing aids are the same.  Some 2.4 GHz products have current drains averaging 4.8-5.0 mA when streaming while other 2.4 GHz products using lower power Bluetooth will drain the battery at 3.0-3.4 mA while streaming.  Some 2.4 GHz products when not streaming may have battery drains of 1.8-2.0 mA, while some of the newer products with bilateral beam-forming may drain the battery at 2.3-2.5 mA when not streaming.

The key is to know your products and know your patient’s listening habits.  This is critical to good counseling.

Q: Is the life of the hearing aid circuit reduced as a result of using the rechargeable system? It did happen when [a previous model of hearing aid] were rechargeable. —Anjan Muhury

A: The ZPower Rechargeable System has been thoroughly evaluated by the hearing aid manufacturers and there is no indication that the system will have a negative effect on the life of the hearing aid circuit. The ZPower silver-zinc battery is designed to mimic the performance of traditional zinc-air batteries and is transparent to the DSP of the hearing aids. Extensive studies of hearing aids using the ZPower System also show the system including the ZPower silver-zinc batteries have no impact on the electrophysiologic performance of the hearing aids. Therefore, the ZPower System will not have a negative impact on the hearing aid circuitry or performance.

Previous Q & A’s

Q: What’s a realistic time frame for a rechargeable hearing aid battery to last?

A: Rechargeable silver-zinc batteries last about a year. They are removeable and therefore easily replaced. It is recommended that rechargeable silver-zinc batteries are replaced once a year by a hearing care professional.

Li-ion batteries are sealed within the hearing aid, and are usually removable only by the hearing aid manufacturer. They last approximately 4 to 5 years.

ZPower Rechargeable Hearing SystemQ: What would happen if my patient accidentally places their hearing aids in the charger while they have zinc air batteries in them?

A: When the hearing aids are put on the charger, the charger will check to see what type of battery is in the hearing aid.  If the charger detects a disposable zinc air battery, the lights on the charger will turn red.  If the charger detects a silver-zinc battery, the lights on the charger will start blinking green; once the battery is fully charged, the lights will turn solid green.

Q: Can my patients overcharge a ZPower battery if they leave it in the charger for too long?

A: The batteries will not overcharge if left in the charger.  It is a best practice to put the hearing aids back on the charger when the hearing aids are not being worn during the day.  This will keep the hearing aids turned off and the batteries charged.  For long-term storage, if batteries will not be used for over 2 weeks, the rechargeable batteries should be removed from the hearing aids and stored in a location where they will not touch each other or other metal objects.

Q: What happens when the silver-zinc rechargeable battery is getting low on power?

A: The hearing aid wearer will hear the low battery warning.  Once the low-battery warning occurs or once a hearing aid shuts off due to a low battery condition, the battery door should not be opened and closed to reboot the hearing aid. Rebooting after the low battery warning can override the smart circuitry in the battery door into believing it has a traditional disposable battery installed and, although the hearing aid will continue to work for a short period, it may over-discharge the battery. If a low-battery warning from the hearing aids is received, the hearing aids should be placed in the charging base for charging or the batteries should be replaced with non-rechargeable batteries.  The rechargeable batteries should not be stored with metal objects such as keys or coins.

Q: How often should the batteries be charged?

ZPower-Sustain-FTRA: The batteries should be fully charged every night. Once the hearing aids are finished charging, the indicator lights turn from blinking green to solid green. A full charge may take up to 7 hours—the charge time varies based on how much the battery was depleted during the day. Do not try to extend battery life by charging every other day, as this increases the chances of depleting the battery. A fully depleted battery will take longer to charge and may not fully charge in time for next use.

Q: What happens if the hearing aid wearer forgets to charge the battery at night?

A: They can use a disposable zinc-air battery until it is convenient to re-charge the batteries—ideally the rechargeable batteries should be charged the next night.  The rechargeable silver-zinc batteries are a gold color, so they will not be mixed up with zinc-air disposable batteries.  The rechargeable batteries should be stored in a safe place and should not be stored with metal objects such as keys or coins.

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New digital hearing aids in Wiltshire

Signia Launches Silk Nx Hearing Aids In Wiltshire

Stephen Neal earwax removal in Wiltshire

If you are not as close to Keynsham as to Devizes we would recommend our sister company

Wiltshire ear clinic 

Signia Silk Nx

Audiology technology company Signia announced its latest innovation, the new Silk Nx hearing aids. Re-engineered to be 20% smaller than its predecessor, these ready-to-wear, completely-in-canal (CIC) devices now include key features of Signia’s Nx hearing aid technology that are designed to deliver the most natural hearing experience.

Signia Silk Nx

Signia Silk Nx

With the new Silk Nx solutions, hearing aid wearers do not have to sacrifice size for performance in their hearing aids. Despite having designed the already small Silk hearing aids to be even tinier with this new release, they are also more powerful than ever. The result is what Signia calls a “discreet, instant-fit hearing solution with the highest level of sound quality.”

A practically invisible solution

Many hearing aid wearers, and especially those being fit for the first time, are insecure about others seeing their hearing aids. The  Silk Nx were redesigned to be 20% smaller than previous models, according to Signia. As a result, they are designed for an improved fit rate and wearing comfort. They also feature darker faceplate colors that are designed to better blend into the ear canal and further decrease visibility.

Improved sound quality

Built upon Signia’s Nx technology platform, the new Silk is designed to provides wearers with the “most natural” hearing experience, according to the company. And Signia’s binaural beamforming technology is designed to allow clear speech understanding, even in noisy situations. Silk Nx hearing aids are also said to enable natural directionality and wireless streaming between both ears to make sure wearers hear what’s most important.

Signia Silk Nx

Signia Silk Nx

Instant-fit design

Silk hearing aids come ready-to-wear, with a secure fit for almost every ear. This is due to their super-soft and flexible silicone Click Sleeves, which are designed for a higher fit rate and are more durable than previous solutions.

More innovative features

The latest release also includes new features like TwinPhone, enabling wearers to put a phone up to one ear and hear the call through both hearing aids. They also represent what is said to be the “world’s first CIC solution” for single-sided deafness. With contralateral routing of signal (CROS) technology, Silk Nx hearing aids include wireless transmitters that transfer sound from the unaidable ear to the better ear, enabling the wearer to hear from both sides. Wearers also benefit from Signia’s apps, including the touchControl™ App and TeleCare™ 3.0, to provide greater control and convenience.

 Source: Signia

Images: Signia

www.keynshamhearing.co.uk

Which hearing aids are best for me?

Which hearing aids are best for me?

Bristol and Bath hearing aid centre, Stephen Neal is the hearing and earwax specialist for Somerset and Wiltshire.

You’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss and the hearing healthcare professional says you’ll benefit from wearing hearing aids, but which devices are best for you? The decision you make will depend greatly on the severity of your hearing loss as well as your health and the lifestyle you lead. Before you sit down to discuss options with your hearing healthcare provider, here are a few things to consider.

Are you a technology buff?

best hearing aids for me

Stephen Neal, hearing aid and wax removal specialist. Frome, Somerset.

Your hearing aids should be as individual
as you are!

Hearing aids have changed a lot in the last ten years. Today’s devices are nothing like those your parents or grandparents may have worn, mainly because of advances in technology. While your parents’ hearing aids had to be adjusted with a tiny screwdriver by a hearing care provider, today’s digital devices are programmed via computer. Gone are the days of fiddling around with bulky volume control wheels and buttons. Most of today’s devices can be controlled discreetly by the wearer with smartphone apps as listening environments change. Bluetooth technology allows hearing aids to connect wirelessly to that smartphone you bought the moment it became available, tablets, televisions or car audio.

How much of a techie are you? Chances are, there’s a hearing aid that can keep up with your fascination for cutting edge gadgets. If you’re not a technology lover, don’t despair – the technology in your new hearing aids can also work behind the scenes automatically so you can just focus on hearing your best.

Is your world noisy?

Let’s face it — life can be loud! Depending upon what you do for a living and how often you’re socially engaged with people you love spending time with, directional microphone technology can help you make sense of that noise. Dual microphones in the hearing aid work to help you understand speech in challenging listening environments such as noisy conventions, crowded restaurants and bars or a family room filled with chattering children by focusing on the sound directly in front of you and minimizing sound to the sides and back.

Nearly all hearing aids today have some form of noise reduction built in. This technology is best for increasing your comfort in noisy situations, but it’s the directional microphones that have a noticeable impact on your ability to understand conversation in these same situations. Be honest about your lifestyle and talk with your hearing care provider about which features you need.

Are you self-conscious about your hearing loss?

Let’s be clear: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing hearing aids — no matter whether they’re visible to others standing close to you or fit snugly out of sight inside your ear canal. These miracle devices not only help you hear your favorite sounds, they also alert you to emergency warning signals and decrease your risk of falling, developing dementia and feeling depressed. What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, some prefer to be more discreet about their hearing loss. For those individuals, tiny receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) or receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) styles with ultra-thin tubing and an availability of colors which blend with skin or hair may be desirable. For even more invisibility, invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) or completely-in-the-canal (CIC) styles may be an option.

The discretion of small hearing aids can come with some tradeoffs. Your hearing healthcare professional can help you decide, given the severity of your hearing loss and your personal preferences, which style is best for you.

Do you have dexterity issues?

Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and other health conditions can cause numbness in the fingers or a decline in fine motor skills. The smaller the hearing aid, the smaller the features — such as the battery door or volume control. If you struggle with putting on jewelry or activities which require fine motor skills, you will likely benefit from wearing hearing aids that fit behind-the-ear (BTE) or a larger custom style. It’s much better to own devices you can operate confidently and effectively than one which frustrates you so much it spends more time in your nightstand than in your ear.

Summary

It’s important to remember that no two people or their hearing losses are alike, but there are hearing aids to suit most every need. The best hearing aids are the ones that work for you. Instead of waiting to make a decision because you’re afraid you’ll make the wrong one, find a hearing healthcare professional to guide you. Working as a team, the two of you can determine which devices will work for your unique hearing situation. Check out our directory of consumer-reviewed clinics to get started.