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 brief guide, we’ll reveal 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 special kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each one has a sticker that covers small holes on the top of the battery. When the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, creating a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. Once the battery is live, it starts discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no influence in conserving its lifespan.
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 biggest to smallest, are:
Each hearing aid uses only one of the sizes, and your hearing specialist will tell you which size you will need. 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 many 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 change according to:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The level of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss calls for additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capability, noise reduction programs, and multi-channel processing, for example, call for more power to work.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can minimize battery life.
Your hearing specialist will discuss all of this with you, and can help you find the proper balance between hearing aid capability and battery life.
How to Extend the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily increase 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 into 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 extends its life.
A couple of 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 entirely.
- 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 crucial that the next section is dedicated 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 result!
The thinking behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will delay the discharge of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be minimal, 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, causing 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 use 2 batteries (1 for each hearing aid), then you’ll end up using roughly 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder level, and once you consume your stock down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the price savings associated with bulk buys 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 establish a program and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any additional questions? Speak to one of our hearing specialists today!