You could make a strong case that the most crucial component of your hearing aid is the battery: without it, nothing else works, and if it fails, your hearing fails with it. In this brief guide, we’ll reveal 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 kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each battery 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, causing a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. Once the battery is active, it begins discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no influence 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 inform you which size you require. Bear in mind that the numbers and colors above are manufacturer independent, but that manufacturers oftentimes add additional letters or numbers to its packaging.
Hearing Aid Battery Life
Hearing aid battery life is dependent on numerous 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 magnitude of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss demands more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capability, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for example, demand more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can reduce battery life.
Your hearing specialist will discuss all of this with you, and will help you uncover the right balance between hearing aid functionality and battery life.
How to Lengthen the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily lengthen the life of your hearing aid batteries with one simple 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 fully activate the battery before you start using it, which extends its life.
A couple of other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coinage, 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 long period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; nonetheless, 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 dedicated to the topic.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous misconception 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 negligible, and the harmful effects of moisture will generate far greater negative consequences.
Storing zinc-air batteries in a cold environment permits micro condensation to form in an on the battery, resulting in corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Therefore, for maximum 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 figure out 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 about 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder target, and once you deplete your stock down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the price savings linked with bulk purchases and maintain a supply that lasts a bit 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 additional questions? Speak to one of our hearing specialists today!