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 short guide, we’ll reveal 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 small holes on the top of the battery. As soon as 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. After the battery is active, it begins discharging power and reapplying the sticker will have no effect in conserving its life.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standard sizes, labeled with standard 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 inform you which size you will need. Bear in mind 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 a wide array 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 differ based on:
- The size of the battery – larger batteries have a longer life.
- The level of hearing loss – More severe hearing loss demands 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 explore all of this with you, and can help you find the proper balance between hearing aid performance and battery life.
How to Lengthen the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can effortlessly increase the life of your hearing aid batteries with one simple trick. As soon as 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 properly activate the battery before you start using it, which extends its life.
A few other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coinage, 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 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 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 dedicated to the subject.
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 mistaken; it produces the opposite effect!
The reasoning behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will delay the release 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 produce far greater negative consequences.
Storing zinc-air batteries in a cold environment enables micro condensation to form in an on the battery, leading to corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Therefore, for maximum 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 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 use 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 inventory down to 8, order an additional pack. Alternatively, you may want to look into the price savings linked with bulk buys and maintain a supply that lasts longer than one month. If you’re not sure, we are more than happy to help you put together a plan 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!