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 quick guide, we’ll teach you 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 specialized kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each one has a sticker that covers small holes on the top of the battery. When the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, generating 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 preserving 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 makes use of only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will inform you which size you require. Also remember 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 wide array 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 fluctuate based on:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The amount of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss demands 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 lessen battery life.
Your hearing specialist can discuss all of this with you, and can help you discover the right balance between hearing aid performance and battery life.
How to Increase the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can effortlessly extend the life of your hearing aid batteries with one basic trick. After you remove the sticker to activate the battery, wait 5-7 minutes before placing the battery in 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 lengthens its life.
A few other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coins, keys, or other metal objects 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; nonetheless, fresher batteries are preferable 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 dedicated to the topic.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous myth out there proposing that storing your batteries in the refrigerator extends their life. This is not only false; it produces the opposite effect!
The reasoning behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will delay the release of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be negligible, and the adverse 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 optimal 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 use 2 batteries (1 for each hearing aid), then you’ll end up using somewhere 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 cost savings associated 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 put together a strategy and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any additional questions? Speak to one of our hearing specialists today!