Getting the Most Out of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
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 brief guide, we’ll reveal 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 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, creating 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 influence in preserving its life.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standardized sizes, labeled with standardized 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 tell you which size you require. Bear in mind 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 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 fluctuate according to:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The level of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss requires additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capabilities, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for instance, require more power to operate.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can minimize battery life.
Your hearing specialist can go over all of this with you, and will help you find the right balance between hearing aid functionality and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can effortlessly extend 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 in your hearing aids. By removing the sticker and laying the battery flat side up for several minutes, air is able to fully activate the battery before you start using it, which lengthens its life.
A couple of other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coins, 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 intend on using your hearing aids for a long period of time, remove the batteries entirely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; still, newer batteries are preferred 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 devoted to the issue.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous myth out there proposing that storing your batteries in the refrigerator extends their life. This is not only false; it produces the opposite effect!
The thinking behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will slow down the discharge of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be minimal, and the harmful effects of moisture will produce 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.
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 make use of 2 batteries (1 for each hearing aid), then you’ll end up using approximately 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder point, and once you diminish your inventory down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to examine the cost savings associated 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 put together a system 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 specialists today!