You could make a strong case that the most critical part of your hearing aid is the battery: without it, nothing else works, and if it fails, your hearing fails with it. In this concise guide, we’ll provide you with 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 unique type of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each battery has a sticker that covers tiny holes on the top of the battery. Once the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, generating a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. After the battery is active, it starts discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no influence in preserving its lifespan.
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 biggest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid makes use of only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will inform you which size you will need. Keep 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 many 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 – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The amount of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss demands more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capability, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for example, require more power to work.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can lessen battery life.
Your hearing specialist can review all of this with you, and will help you discover the right balance between hearing aid capability and battery life.
How to Increase the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can easily increase the life of your hearing aid batteries with one simple trick. Just 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 several minutes, air is able to properly activate the battery before you start using it, which lengthens its life.
A couple of other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coins, keys, or other metal materials 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, newer batteries are preferred because each year that goes by reduces the life of the battery.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This tip is so important that the next section is dedicated to the issue.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous myth out there advocating that storing your batteries in the refrigerator lengthens their life. This is not only untrue; 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 negligible, and the undesirable 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, causing corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Consequently, for best 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 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 approximately 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder point, and once you reduce your stock down to 8, order another pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the cost savings associated with bulk purchases and maintain a supply that lasts longer than one month. If you’re not sure, we are more than happy to help you design a plan and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any other questions? Speak to one of our hearing specialists today!