You could make a strong case that the most vital part of your hearing aid is the battery: without it, nothing else works, and if it fails, your hearing fails with it. In this concise guide, we’ll reveal to you everything you need to know about hearing aid batteries so that you can get the maximum benefit out of your hearing aids.
How Hearing Aid Batteries Work
Hearing aids take a specialized type of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each one has a sticker that covers tiny holes on the top of the battery. As soon as the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, creating a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. Once the battery is live, it starts discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no influence in preserving its life.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standard sizes, labeled with standard number and color codes. The four sizes, from biggest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid runs on only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will inform you which size you 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 dependent 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 vary depending on:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The degree of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss requires more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for example, call for more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can lessen battery life.
Your hearing specialist can talk about all of this with you, and can help you uncover the right balance between hearing aid capability and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily increase the life of your hearing aid batteries with one simple trick. Just after you remove the sticker to activate the battery, wait 5-7 minutes before inserting the battery into your hearing aids. By removing the sticker and laying the battery flat side up for a few minutes, air is able to completely activate the battery before you start using it, which extends its life.
A few other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coins, keys, or other metal materials 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 anticipate using your hearing aids for a prolonged period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; nevertheless, newer batteries are preferred because each year that goes by decreases the life of the battery.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This rule is so important that the next section is devoted to the matter.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous myth out there advocating that storing your batteries in the refrigerator lengthens their life. This is not only mistaken; it produces the opposite effect!
The thinking behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will slow the discharge 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 generate far greater negative consequences.
Storing zinc-air batteries in a cold environment allows micro condensation to form in an on the battery, leading to corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Consequently, for optimal 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 identify how long your batteries last, on average, you’ll want to keep a month’s supply. If your batteries last 1 week, and you make use of 2 batteries (1 for each hearing aid), then you’ll end up using around 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder target, and once you consume your inventory down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the price savings associated with bulk purchases 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 system and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any other questions? Talk to one of our hearing specialists today!