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 quick guide, we’ll teach 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 specific kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each battery has a sticker that covers tiny holes on the top of the battery. Once the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, triggering a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery active. After the battery is live, it begins discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no effect in preserving its life.
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 largest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid uses only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will tell you which size you will need. Keep in mind that the numbers and colors above are manufacturer independent, but that manufacturers often add additional letters or numbers to its packaging.
Hearing Aid Battery Life
Hearing aid battery life is reliant on numerous 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 based on:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The amount of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss demands more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for example, demand more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can decrease battery life.
Your hearing specialist can review all of this with you, and will help you uncover the proper balance between hearing aid performance and battery life.
How to Lengthen the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily lengthen the life of your hearing aid batteries with one basic trick. Just 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 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 anticipate using your hearing aids for an extended period of time, remove the batteries entirely.
- Unopened batteries can last for many years; nonetheless, 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 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 untrue; 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 minimal, and the adverse effects of moisture will produce far greater negative consequences.
Storing zinc-air batteries in a cold environment allows micro condensation to form in an on the battery, causing corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Therefore, for best performance, simply keep your batteries away from extreme hot or cold temperatures and store at room temperature.
Managing 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 roughly 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder point, and once you diminish your stock down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the cost savings linked 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 set up a program 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!