You could make a strong case that the most critical 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 present 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 specialized type of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each one 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, which causes a chemical reaction that activates the zinc and makes the battery live. Once the battery is live, it begins discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no influence in preserving its lifespan.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standardized 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. Also remember 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 reliant on a variety of 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 degree of hearing loss – More serious hearing loss requires additional power.
- Hearing aid features – wireless functionality, noise reduction applications, and multi-channel processing, for instance, require more power to work.
- 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 proper balance between hearing aid performance and battery life.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can very easily lengthen the life of your hearing aid batteries with one basic trick. 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 making use of it, which extends 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 anticipate using your hearing aids for a prolonged period of time, remove the batteries completely.
- Unopened batteries can last for many 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 tip is so crucial that the next section is dedicated to the matter.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s a dangerous misconception out there proposing that storing your batteries in the refrigerator lengthens their life. This is not only untrue; it produces the opposite result!
The reasoning behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will slow the release of power. While this may be technically true, the amount of power you will save will be minimal, and the undesirable effects of moisture will generate far greater negative consequences.
Storing zinc-air batteries in a cold environment allows micro condensation to form in an on the battery, resulting in corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Consequently, for optimal 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 approximately 8 per month. Simply set 8 as your reorder point, and once you deplete your inventory down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the cost savings linked with bulk purchases and maintain a supply that lasts longer than one month. If you’re not certain, we are more than happy to help you establish a strategy and will handle all of your hearing aid battery needs. Just give us a call!
Have any additional questions? Talk to one of our hearing specialists today!