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What batteries should I use with cochlear implant?

As you all are familiar with the type of ear device used for damage inner ear functions that is cochlear implants. Though it is different from the ordinary hearing aids, still posses quite similar features. These devices also run on the power. Let’s discuss whether it also needs batteries, and if it really what type of batteries are needed for cochlear implants. Let’s face these following questions related to the cochlear implant batteries.

Does cochlear implant need batteries?

Yes, batteries are an important source of energy for the working of the cochlear implant. You can’t imagine the functions of the cochlear implant without its batteries. Silver-oxide and alkaline batteries also work with cochlear implants. These Batteries don’t need air to work and can be recharged multiple times.

How long does it take to charge a cochlear implant battery?

If your battery is completely empty, it will approximately take about 4 hours to attain complete charge. You must recharge your battery before using it in order to increase the longevity of the rechargeable batteries. The rechargeable battery’s lifespan is about 365 charge cycles.

Does insurance cover cochlear implant batteries?

The cochlear implant is a standard device for the treatment of severe to profound hearing loss. Thus most insurance companies cover cochlear implants including their batteries too. In 2004, Medicare, Medicaid which is the Veterans Administration and other public health care plans cover cochlear implant and its batteries.

What batteries should I use with cochlear implants?

You must choose specific batteries for your cochlear implant audio processor among different batteries. It depends on your specific situation. As there are subtle differences between the styles of batteries. The difference is due to battery size and cell type.

Battery size

The cochlear implant battery size ensures whether it fits into the cochlear implant audio processor or not. The most common battery size for a cochlear implant is 675. The following sizes are available in the market:

  • Size 10
  • Size 13
  • Size 312
  • Size 675
  • 675 Cochlear
  • Aqua+ LR44

Battery /cell type

It indicates the fuel that the battery uses like the common cell types are zinc-air, silver-oxide, alkaline, and rechargeable.

Zinc-air

Though its size is very small it contains a lot of power and is relatively inexpensive to produce. It is for general use if you want a single set of batteries for a long-lasting time. It needs constant oxygen to provide power and will start working as soon as you pull off the little tab, and will keep working as long as. When the zinc in the battery has completely oxidized it will stop producing power and the battery will need to be replaced. Depending on which audio processor and battery pack you use, they will last for approximately 60—90 hours.

Silver-oxide and alkaline batteries

The chemical reaction inside the battery enables them to work and they don’t need air and can be recharged multiple times. Individual batteries might be cheaper than their zinc-air equivalents, but they won’t last as long and have a lifetime of approximately 6—8 hours per set depending on your audio processor and battery pack.

Rechargeable batteries

They are also available in size 675 and don’t need air and can be recharged several times. The batteries will approximately last for 6-8 hours charge.

What batteries you should prefer?

If you live in an area where disposable batteries are expensive or unavailable then rechargeable batteries will be the best option for you.

Suppose you want your battery to last for a long time and don’t want to change it frequently, choose the zinc-air batteries for the cochlear implant.

If there is no access to zinc-air batteries or need batteries without air, you must go for rechargeable, silver-oxide or alkaline batteries.

There are few brands of batteries for cochlear implants that you can choose depending on the type of battery you want.

  • Zinc-air: PowerOne, ZeniPower, Rayovac
  • Alkaline: Duracell
  • Silver-oxide: VARTA
  • Rechargeable 675: PowerOne

Importance of cochlear implants battery

Cochlear Implant Vs Hearing Aid: Battery life

Your hearing aids may need just one battery to function for a week or more. But the life of cochlear implant batteries is shorter as compared to the hearing aid batteries. The main question is “Why cochlear implant batteries consume power at a faster rate?”. This happens because cochlear implant batteries are responsible for the following functions :

Signal processing

Hearing aids and cochlear implants are all about signal processing through their way of processing is different. The hearing aids do less signal processing as compared to the cochlear implants. It just amplifies mechanical sound waves in a pretty simple “in-and-out” process that starts with a speaker and ends with a speaker. It only amplifies sound from the outside and leaves it up to the ear to receive and transmit this sound to the brain.

On the other hand, cochlear implant needs to convert sound vibrations into electrical pulses that stimulate the cochlea. Thus cochlear implant audio processor has to do more functions than hearing aids processor. You can compare cochlear implant as a personal interpreter which converts another language to the specific language you understand. Whereas hearing aids, only repeat the same language for you.

Signal transmission

It is another factor in cochlear implant battery life. Cochlear implant batteries use special radio signals to create a wireless connection between the audio processor coil and the implant. That signal has to travel through a few millimeters of skin in between the audio processor coil and implant. Thus the batteries make use of 50% of transmission power as it has to travel through a few millimeters of skin in between the audio processor coil and implant.

Electric stimulation

The electric array uses electrical impulses to stimulate the cochlear implant. Thus these pulses create more electricity and need more power. That’s why cochlear implant batteries consume more power than that of hearing aids.

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What batteries should I use with cochlear implant?
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