You could make a strong case that the most vital component of your hearing aid is the battery: without it, nothing else works, and if it fails, your hearing fails with it. In this quick guide, we’ll provide you with 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 special kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each battery 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. When the battery is active, it starts discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no impact in conserving its life.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standardized sizes, marked with standard number and color codes. The four sizes, from largest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid runs on only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will tell you which size you require. 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 various 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 according to:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The amount of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss requires additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capabilities, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for example, call for more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can decrease battery life.
Your hearing specialist will talk about all of this with you, and will help you uncover the proper balance between hearing aid capability and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can easily prolong the life of your hearing aid batteries with one basic 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 several minutes, air is able to properly activate the battery before you start using it, which extends 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 a prolonged period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; still, fresher batteries are preferred 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 matter.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous misconception out there proposing that storing your batteries in the refrigerator extends their life. This is not only mistaken; it produces the opposite effect!
The reasoning behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will delay the discharge of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be minimal, and the unwanted 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, resulting in corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Therefore, for best performance, simply keep your batteries away from extreme hot or cold temperatures and store at room temperature.
Managing Your Hearing Aid Battery Supply
Once you determine 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 reduce your supply down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to examine the price savings connected with bulk buys and maintain a supply that lasts a bit longer than one month. If you’re not certain, we are more than happy to help you put together a program and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any additional questions? Talk to one of our hearing specialists today!