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 explain 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 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, producing a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. When the battery is live, it starts discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no impact in conserving its life.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standard 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 tell you which size you require. Bear 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 various 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 according to:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The degree of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss demands more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for instance, demand more power to work.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can reduce battery life.
Your hearing specialist will discuss all of this with you, and can help you discover the proper balance between hearing aid functionality 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. 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 completely activate the battery before you start making use of 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 an extended period of time, remove the batteries entirely.
- Unopened batteries can last for many years; nevertheless, newer batteries are preferable because each year that goes by decreases the life of the battery.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This rule is so crucial that the next section is dedicated to the subject.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous misconception out there suggesting that storing your batteries in the refrigerator extends their life. This is not only mistaken; it produces the opposite effect!
The reasoning behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will decrease 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 generate far greater negative consequences.
Storing zinc-air batteries in a cold environment enables 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 identify 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 about 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder level, and once you deplete your supply down to 8, order another pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the price savings associated with bulk purchases and maintain a supply that lasts a bit 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 other questions? Speak with one of our hearing specialists today!