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 brief guide, we’ll present to 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 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, which causes a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. After the battery is live, it starts discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no effect in conserving 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 largest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid makes use of only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will tell 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 reliant 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 fluctuate depending on:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The degree of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss requires additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for instance, call for more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can lessen battery life.
Your hearing specialist can review all of this with you, and can help you discover the proper balance between hearing aid capability and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can effortlessly extend the life of your hearing aid batteries with one simple trick. 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 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 entirely.
- 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 tip is so important that the next section is devoted to the issue.
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 result!
The reasoning behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will slow down 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 allows micro condensation to form in an on the battery, causing corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Consequently, for ideal 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 approximately 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder target, and once you reduce your inventory down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to examine the price 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!