You could make a strong case that the most critical component 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 maximum benefit out of your hearing aids.
How Hearing Aid Batteries Work
Hearing aids take a specialized 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, causing a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery active. After the battery is active, it begins 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 standard sizes, labeled with standard number and color codes. The four sizes, from largest 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. Also remember 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 reliant 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 fluctuate depending on:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The extent of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss calls for more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for example, require more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can lower battery life.
Your hearing specialist will discuss all of this with you, and can help you uncover the right balance between hearing aid performance and battery life.
How to Extend the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily increase 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 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 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 plan on using your hearing aids for an extended period of time, remove the batteries entirely.
- Unopened batteries can last for many years; nonetheless, fresher 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 crucial that the next section is dedicated to the topic.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous misconception out there proposing that storing your batteries in the refrigerator lengthens their life. This is not only mistaken; it produces the opposite effect!
The thinking 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 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, leading to 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 figure out 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 inventory down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the cost savings connected 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 establish a program and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any additional questions? Talk to one of our hearing specialists today!