Types of Batteries
One of the most common questions new hearing aid users have about their devices is in regards to the power source: batteries. While there are a few products on the market which use rechargeable batteries, most hearing aids will be powered by disposable zinc-air batteries. Zinc-air batteries, as the name implies, are activated by being in the air. All zinc-air batteries will have some type of sticker or tab that needs to be peeled off in order for the pores on the back of the battery to be activated and start working.
Because hearing aids come in all different sizes and power levels, batteries too are designed to meet different needs. Zinc-air batteries come in 4 common sizes: 10, 312, 13 and 675 in size order from smallest to largest. In general, larger hearing aids require larger batteries.
In general, you can expect anywhere from 5 to 14 days of life from a hearing aid battery. There are many factors that come in to play when predicting where you and your hearing aids will fall in that spectrum. Also, keep in mind that a day is considered about 10-12 hours of wear time.
The first factor to effect battery life is the size of the battery itself. In general, smaller batteries get a shorter battery life than larger batteries. The size of the device will also matter. Larger, power hearing aids take a bigger battery but they draw more heavily from it, which reduces the life. The situations you use your hearing aids in will also affect battery life. In background noise, hearing aids work harder and employ more features such as noise reduction algorithms. The more the hearing aid is doing, the more battery power it requires. Bluetooth streaming and CROS and BiCROS hearing aids (link back) also draw heavily on batteries and can reduce life to about 3-6 days per battery.
Extending Battery Life
If you are noticing that your batteries do not last very long, consider these tips and tricks to extend life:
- Open the battery doors on the hearing aids when they are not in your ears. The batteries will still be draining but at a significantly reduced rate.
- Activate a new battery by peeling off the sticker or tab approximately 3-5 minutes before you need to use it. Letting the battery charge up fully before use can result in extended battery life. Do not peel off the sticker or tab more than a few minutes before use, as the battery will start to drain once it is exposed to air.
- Store your batteries in a non-humid, room temperature environment.
- Use a dry-kit over night to suck out moisture from both the batteries and the hearing aids.
- Check the expiration date on your batteries.
- Keep batteries away from other metal objects such as keys or change in your pocket or purse. Metal can short-circuit batteries.
- Consider changing battery brands or buying your batteries from a different place. Some places, such as your audiologist’s office, will go through batteries more quickly and are therefore more likely to have new, fresher batteries.
If you are still noticing a very short battery life, or your battery life has suddenly reduced significantly, it is possible that your hearing aids need to go in for repair for excessive battery drain. Consider making an appointment with a JHBI audiologist at The Hearing Center to have your hearing aids looked at, or stop in any time to purchase batteries at our new lower prices of $25 for a box (60 batteries) or $3.50 for a card (6 batteries).