You could make a strong case that the most crucial part of your hearing aid is the battery: without it, nothing else works, and if it fails, your hearing fails with it. In this short guide, we’ll present to you everything you need to know about hearing aid batteries so that you can get the maximum benefit out of your hearing aids.
How Hearing Aid Batteries Work
Hearing aids take a specific type of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each battery 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 active. When the battery is active, it begins discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no impact 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 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 require. Bear 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 a multitude 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 change based on:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The amount of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss requires more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capability, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for instance, require more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can minimize battery life.
Your hearing specialist will discuss all of this with you, and can help you find the right balance between hearing aid functionality and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily lengthen the life of your hearing aid batteries with one basic trick. As soon as you remove the sticker to activate the battery, wait 5-7 minutes before inserting the battery in 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 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 intend on using your hearing aids for a long period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for many years; nevertheless, newer 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 suggesting that storing your batteries in the refrigerator lengthens their life. This is not only false; it produces the opposite result!
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 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 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 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 make use of 2 batteries (1 for each hearing aid), then you’ll end up using somewhere around 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder level, and once you deplete your supply 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 program 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!