You could make a strong case that the most crucial 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 reveal 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 special type of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each battery has a sticker that covers tiny holes on the top of the battery. After the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, causing 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, 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 will be needing. Bear 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 several 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 depending on:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The degree of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss requires additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capabilities, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for example, demand more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can reduce battery life.
Your hearing specialist will explore all of this with you, and can help you find the proper balance between hearing aid capability and battery life.
How to Increase the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can effortlessly prolong the life of your hearing aid batteries with one simple trick. Immediately after 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 a few minutes, air is able to properly activate the battery before you start using it, which lengthens its life.
A few other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coinage, keys, or other metal items 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 years; still, fresher batteries are preferred because each year that goes by decreases the life of the battery.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This rule is so crucial that the next section is devoted to the subject.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous myth out there suggesting that storing your batteries in the refrigerator lengthens their life. This is not only mistaken; 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 negligible, and the destructive 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, 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 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 about 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 examine the cost savings linked with bulk purchases and maintain a supply that lasts longer than one month. If you’re not sure, we are more than happy to help you put together a program and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any other questions? Talk to one of our hearing specialists today!