You could make a strong case that the most crucial 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 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 unique kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each one has a sticker that covers small holes on the top of the battery. Once the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, triggering a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. When 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 standard sizes, marked with standard 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 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 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 vary depending on:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The level of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss requires additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless capabilities, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for instance, demand more power to work.
- Temperature – hot and cold temperatures can lessen battery life.
Your hearing specialist will discuss all of this with you, and can help you discover the right balance between hearing aid capability and battery life.
How to Extend the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily 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 a few minutes, air is able to fully activate the battery before you start making use of 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 intend on using your hearing aids for an extended period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for years; nevertheless, fresher batteries are preferred 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 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 effect!
The reasoning behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will decrease the discharge of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be negligible, and the harmful 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, resulting in corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Therefore, for ideal 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 point, and once you consume your supply down to 8, order another pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the cost savings associated 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 set up a strategy and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any other questions? Speak to one of our hearing specialists today!