Hearing aids enable us to hear the world, to hear sounds that notify us of any danger, and most importantly, they enable us to hear our friends and family again. You may be aware of all the benefits hearing aids have, but how much do you know about the batteries that make them work? More importantly, do you know how to make hearing aid batteries last longer?
What you should know about hearing aid batteries
Most hearing aids use standard zinc-air batteries. The way zinc-air batteries work is different from normal batteries. Zinc-air batteries start working after they have been exposed to oxygen (air) and once activated they are continuously “running”.
What does this mean?
When you purchase hearing aid batteries, you will notice there are plastic tabs covering the bottom half of the battery. This tab prevents the battery from draining before its used, however, once the tab is removed the battery becomes activated. The battery cannot be deactivated by reattaching the plastic tab, so don’t remove the plastic tab carelessly. Once the tab has been removed you must use it, or the battery will be wasted.
Hearing aid batteries cannot be labeled as “one size fits all”. Different devices use different battery sizes. There are four commonly used hearing aid battery sizes, namely: 10, 312, 13, and 675.
To make the batteries easier to find, the packaging is color-coded.
- Size 10 batteries: Yellow
- Size 312 batteries: Brown
- Size 13 batteries: Orange
- Size 675 batteries: Blue
Standard hearing aid batteries have a lifespan of between 6 to 14 days. This is highly dependent on how often the hearing aid device is being used during the day and the size of the hearing aid battery. Now, let’s look at how to make your batteries last longer?
Increase your hearing aid’s battery life
Hearing aid technology is becoming more advanced daily which means that at times the battery life becomes slightly unpredictable. Your device’s battery lifespan depends on the amount of time that you use your hearing aid and if you take adequate care it. There are a few other things you can to increase the battery life of your hearing aid.
- Always purchase new batteries from reputable stores, such as your nearest pharmacy or from your hearing health practitioner. Make sure the packaging has not been tampered with and that all the batteries still have their plastic tabs attached to them.
- Wash your hands before changing your battery because hands have natural oils on them. When oil/grease comes into contact with the hearing aid battery it may cause the power to drain faster than usual.
- As explained above – do not remove the plastic tab from the hearing battery until you are ready to use it. Removing the tab will expose the battery to oxygen and cause it to start working. Once the tab has been removed, replacing the tab will be ineffective.
- Implement a “breathing period” for your hearing aid batteries. Let the battery “breathe” for about one to seven minutes after removing the plastic tab before you place it (‘+’ – side up) into the battery door. This allows the battery to activate optimally and some hearing aid battery distributors believe it could increase the battery life by a couple of days.
- Remember to turn your hearing aid off when you’re not using it (i.e. opening the battery door) and remove the hearing aid battery.
- Store the batteries at room temperature, in a dry air-tight container once they are removed from the device. Why at room temperature? If you store the batteries in a space with a high temperature it can decrease their lifespan, and similarly – if you store the batteries at a low temperature it could cause condensation leading to their shortened lifespan as well.
- Never leave your hearing aids “on” overnight. What does that mean? When you’re sleeping at night you will remove the batteries from your hearing aid, and place your hearing aid/s in the dehumidifying container you received when you were fitted with your devices. Leave the battery door open, without the battery inside of it, to make sure that the dehumidifier, dehumidifying tablets, or sachets remove all excess moisture from the device. It is important that all excess moisture is removed to prevent the batteries from corroding.
Adopting the above recommendations as lifestyle habits may help you save money on hearing aid batteries over time and will be beneficial to the overall functioning, and long term maintenance, of your hearing aids.
Other common questions
Q: How do I dispose of my used hearing aid batteries?
A: Firstly, create a system that works for you. Once your battery is no longer working make sure you place it far away from your unused batteries. Zinc-air batteries are non-hazardous waste. It would, however, be in your best interest to find out where your local collecting points for used batteries are – to make sure they can be recycled and/or disposed of properly. This would typically be at a supermarket exit point or at your local drugstore.
Q: I’ve put a new battery in my device and it is still not working! What can I do?
A: There could be a few possible reasons why this would happen. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:
- Make sure you have removed the plastic tab from the battery and that you have placed it in the battery door with the ‘+’-side up.
- Make sure that the battery is making contact within the battery door. Inspect the battery for any damage that may be causing an incomplete circuit for the power flow.
- You may have not allowed ample time for the battery to “breathe” after you removed the tab. Wait between one to seven minutes for it to “power up” fully.
If you replace the battery, the above issues are resolved, and your hearing aid is still not working, consider contacting your hearing health professional or a Lexie hearing expert for further troubleshooting and advice.