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 concise guide, we’ll show 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 specialized type 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. After the battery is active, it starts discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no impact 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 inform you which size you need. Also remember 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 various 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 based on:
- The size of the battery – bigger batteries have a longer life.
- The level of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss demands more power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for instance, require 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 discover the right balance between hearing aid performance and battery life.
How to Increase the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can easily extend 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 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 properly activate the battery before you start using it, which lengthens its life.
A couple of 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 entirely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; still, fresher batteries are preferable because each year that goes by reduces the life of the battery.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This advice is so crucial that the next section is devoted to the issue.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous myth out there advocating that storing your batteries in the refrigerator lengthens their life. This is not only false; 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 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, leading to 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 figure out 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 somewhere around 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder point, and once you consume your inventory down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to consider the price savings connected 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 strategy 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!