You could make a strong case that the most critical component of your hearing aid is the battery: without it, nothing else works, and if it fails, your hearing fails with it. In this short guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about hearing aid batteries so that you can get the most out of your hearing aids.
How Hearing Aid Batteries Work
Hearing aids take a particular type of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each one has a sticker that covers tiny holes on the top of the battery. When the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, resulting in a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. Once the battery is live, it begins discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no effect in conserving its life.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standard sizes, labeled with standardized number and color codes. The four sizes, from biggest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid uses only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will inform you which size you will need. Bear in mind that the numbers and colors above are manufacturer independent, but that manufacturers sometimes add additional letters or numbers to its packaging.
Hearing Aid Battery Life
Hearing aid battery life is reliant on a multitude of factors. Many patients get up to one week of life out of a battery if they use the hearing aid for 12 or more hours a day, but this will differ based on:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The magnitude of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss demands additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capability, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for instance, call for more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can diminish battery life.
Your hearing specialist will talk about all of this with you, and can help you find the right balance between hearing aid performance and battery life.
How to Lengthen the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily extend the life of your hearing aid batteries with one basic trick. Immediately after you remove the sticker to activate the battery, wait 5-7 minutes before placing the battery into your hearing aids. By removing the sticker and laying the battery flat side up for several minutes, air is able to properly activate the battery before you start using it, which lengthens its life.
A few other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coinage, keys, or other metal items that could short the battery.
- When the hearing aid isn’t being used, turn it off and store it with the battery door open. If you don’t plan on using your hearing aids for an extended period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; still, newer batteries are preferable because each year that goes by decreases the life of the battery.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This advice is so crucial that the next section is devoted to the subject.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous myth out there advocating that storing your batteries in the refrigerator extends their life. This is not only incorrect; it produces the opposite result!
The reasoning behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will slow the release of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be minimal, and the undesirable effects of moisture will produce far greater negative consequences.
Storing zinc-air batteries in a cold environment permits micro condensation to form in an on the battery, causing corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Therefore, for ideal performance, simply keep your batteries away from extreme hot or cold temperatures and store at room temperature.
Maintaining Your Hearing Aid Battery Supply
Once you confirm how long your batteries last, on average, you’ll want to keep a month’s supply. If your batteries last 1 week, and you use 2 batteries (1 for each hearing aid), then you’ll end up using about 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder target, and once you reduce your inventory down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the cost savings linked with bulk buys and maintain a supply that lasts longer than one month. If you’re not sure, we are more than happy to help you set up a strategy and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any other questions? Speak with one of our hearing specialists today!