You could make a strong case that the most important 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 show 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 particular kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each battery has a sticker that covers tiny holes on the top of the battery. When the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, which causes a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery active. Once 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, marked with standardized number and color codes. The four sizes, from biggest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid runs on only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will inform you which size you require. 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 number 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 according to:
- 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 functionality, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for instance, call for more power to work.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can lessen battery life.
Your hearing specialist can go over all of this with you, and will help you uncover the proper balance between hearing aid functionality and battery life.
How to Increase the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can easily 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 in your hearing aids. By removing the sticker and laying the battery flat side up for a few minutes, air is able to fully activate the battery before you start using it, which lengthens its life.
A few 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 prolonged period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for many years; still, fresher batteries are preferred because each year that goes by reduces the life of the battery.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This advice is so important that the next section is devoted to the topic.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous misconception out there advocating that storing your batteries in the refrigerator extends their life. This is not only untrue; it produces the opposite effect!
The reasoning behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will reduce the release of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be minimal, and the unfavorable 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 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 approximately 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder target, and once you consume your inventory down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to consider the price savings connected with bulk buys 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 set up a system 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!