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 short 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 specific kind 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, resulting in a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery active. Once the battery is active, it begins 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, marked with standardized 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 need. Keep 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 reliant on a variety 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 differ depending on:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The degree of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss requires more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capabilities, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for instance, require more power to work.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can minimize battery life.
Your hearing specialist can talk about all of this with you, and can help you find the right balance between hearing aid capability and battery life.
How to Lengthen the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can effortlessly lengthen the life of your hearing aid batteries with one basic trick. 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 few 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 intend on using your hearing aids for a prolonged period of time, remove the batteries entirely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; nevertheless, newer batteries are preferable 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 devoted to the matter.
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 false; it produces the opposite result!
The thinking behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will delay the discharge of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be minimal, and the negative 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, leading to corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Therefore, 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 confirm 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 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 linked with bulk buys 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 strategy and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any other questions? Speak with one of our hearing specialists today!