Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aid Batteries
Your hearing aids require a steady power supply in order to work properly, because even subtle changes in power output can affect performance, clarity, and volume control. Different hearing aids require different types of batteries — based on the size and power requirements of the hearing aid — to work properly. There are many variables that determine how long your battery will power your hearing aids.
A standard “zinc-air” battery lasts anywhere from three to 22 days, depending upon the type of hearing aid, the capacity of the battery, and the amount of hearing aid use throughout each day. The smallest hearing aid batteries, used for 12 to 16 hours per day, may need to be changed every three or four days, while the largest hearing aid batteries used for only a couple hours each day may go several weeks without needing to be changed.
To minimize battery drain, turn off the hearing aid when it’s not in use. Opening the battery door is also an option, and a good way to dry out accumulated moisture. But if the hearing aids won’t be used for an extended period of time (overnight, for instance), removing the battery entirely is the best method.
When storing batteries, keep them at normal room temperature (not refrigerated). Prior to changing batteries, wash your hands thoroughly to remove grease and dirt, which may drain the battery more quickly or dirty the inside of your hearing aid. When the battery dies, it should be removed immediately. A completely discharged battery may swell and become difficult to remove from the small device.
How Do I Change My Batteries?
There are a few ways to know when to change batteries. Some hearing aids will emit a small beeping sound when the battery is low, while some will speak to the user, stating that a change of batteries is needed. Hearing aids that don’t emit warnings typically worsen in sound quality, become distorted, or simply die altogether. The hearing aids may become more quiet before the batteries die — an indication that it’s time to change them.
Note: If a change of batteries does not alleviate this problem, the device may be damaged, and it should be looked at by a hearing care provider.
To insert or replace batteries:
- Unlock battery compartment by sliding small switch on battery door to right until it clicks and colored mark disappears.
- Open battery door using nail grip.
- Remove old battery (if necessary).
- Remove new battery from package, and pull protective tab from battery. Let the battery rest for 5 minutes before placing battery into compartment.
- Align “+” sign on flat side of battery with “+” sign on battery door.
- When battery is secure, close door.
- To lock battery compartment, slide small switch on battery door to left until it clicks and colored mark is visible.
Different Types of Batteries
There are four main sizes of batteries, each with a specific color-coded package: size 10 (yellow), size 13 (orange), size 312 (brown), and size 675 (blue). The battery size you need is typically based on the size and style of your hearing aid.
Standard hearing aid batteries are zinc-air, which are activated when exposed to air, so it is very important to keep them sealed in their packages prior to use. Never open packages to move batteries to a single container; keep the packages sealed until the batteries must be used in the hearing aids, or you may end up with a dead battery. Don’t buy batteries if the seal is broken.
- Once the tab is removed from the battery, it takes approximately 5 minutes before the battery is activated and the battery compartment can be closed.
- Do not force the battery door shut, as it may result in damage to the hearing aid or a broken battery compartment. If the door does not close correctly, check to see if the battery is correctly inserted.
- Do not force the battery door open too far, as it may result in damage.
- Dispose of used batteries immediately in a trash receptacle. Used batteries can harm children or pets if ingested.
- Use of a hearing aid multicleaning tool with a magnetic end may be helpful in handling the batteries.
Packs of hearing aid batteries are typically sold six at a time at $7 per package, which is several weeks’ worth of power. Depending upon hearing aid style and use, total battery cost may be as little as $30 per year, or as much as $150 per year. Members of the Bonnie Rubin Audiology battery club can purchase five battery packages, and get the sixth one free.
Batteries for larger styles, however, like behind-the-ear units, can last for weeks if used for only a handful of hours each day. Wearers of these units can typically expect their batteries to last for five to seven days if used regularly.