You could make a strong case that the most important 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 teach 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 particular kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each battery has a sticker that covers small holes on the top of the battery. After the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, producing a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. After the battery is live, it starts discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no effect in preserving its lifespan.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standardized sizes, labeled with standard number and color codes. The four sizes, from biggest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid uses 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 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 fluctuate depending on:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The extent of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss demands more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for example, call for more power to work.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can reduce battery life.
Your hearing specialist can explore all of this with you, and will help you find the right balance between hearing aid performance and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can effortlessly 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 into 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 lengthens 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 plan on using your hearing aids for a prolonged period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for 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 subject.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous misconception out there advocating that storing your batteries in the refrigerator lengthens their life. This is not only mistaken; it produces the opposite result!
The thinking behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will decrease the discharge of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be minimal, and the destructive effects of moisture will generate far greater negative consequences.
Storing zinc-air batteries in a cold environment allows micro condensation to form in an on the battery, leading to corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Therefore, 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 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 point, and once you diminish your inventory down to 8, order another pack. Alternatively, you may want to consider the price savings associated with bulk buys and maintain a supply that lasts a bit longer than one month. If you’re not certain, we are more than happy to help you set up a plan and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any other questions? Speak to one of our hearing specialists today!