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 show 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 special kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each one has a sticker that covers small holes on the top of the battery. Once the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, creating a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery active. Once the battery is active, it starts discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no impact in preserving its lifespan.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standardized 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 need. Keep in mind that the numbers and colors above are manufacturer independent, but that manufacturers often add additional letters or numbers to its packaging.
Hearing Aid Battery Life
Hearing aid battery life is dependent on several 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 change depending on:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The amount of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss calls for additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for example, demand more power to work.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can lower battery life.
Your hearing specialist can go over all of this with you, and can help you uncover the proper balance between hearing aid functionality and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can effortlessly lengthen 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 fully 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 anticipate using your hearing aids for an extended period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for many 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 important 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 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 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, resulting in 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 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 point, and once you deplete your stock down to 8, order another pack. Alternatively, you may want to examine the price savings connected with bulk purchases and maintain a supply that lasts longer than one month. If you’re not certain, we are more than happy to help you put together a plan 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!