You could make a strong case that the most vital component of your hearing aid is the battery: without it, nothing else works, and if it fails, your hearing fails with it. In this short 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 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, resulting in a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery active. Once the battery is active, it starts 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 standard sizes, marked with standardized number and color codes. The four sizes, from largest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid runs on only one of the sizes, and your hearing instrument specialist will tell you which size you require. Also remember 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 dependent on various factors. Many clients 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 according to:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The magnitude of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss demands 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 instrument specialist will talk about all of this with you, and will help you discover the proper balance between hearing aid capability and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can easily prolong 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 placing 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 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 plan on using your hearing aids for a long period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; nevertheless, fresher batteries are preferable because each year that goes by decreases the life of the battery.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This advice is so important that the next section is dedicated to the topic.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous myth out there advocating that storing your batteries in the refrigerator extends their life. This is not only mistaken; it produces the opposite result!
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 negligible, and the unwanted 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, leading to corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Consequently, 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 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 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 target, and once you deplete your inventory down to 8, order another pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the cost savings connected 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 program and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any additional questions? Speak with one of our hearing instrument specialists today!