Choosing the Right Hearing Aid Batteries
Hearing aid batteries might seem similar, but they're not all created equal. Learn the differences between sizes, brands and types as well as which kind might be right for you.
Hearing aids are advanced and specialized pieces of technology, but they still rely on something simple and familiar - batteries. The vast majority of hearing aids use replaceable batteries for power, which means you’ll need to choose them yourself. Keep reading to learn what to look for in batteries and how to find the best ones for your needs.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
There are a variety of hearing aid battery types and sizes, but they all function in the same general way: once you remove the small protective sticker from the battery it will activate and produce power until it is completely drained.
Most hearing aid batteries last for around 5 to 8 days of use, though they can drain faster or slower depending on the size and type of battery, as well as how much you use your hearing aids and how you care for the batteries when they aren’t in use. Smaller batteries, such as those used in completely-in-canal aids, tend to have shorter lifespans than larger batteries.
Also, remember that all hearing aid batteries are color coded by size. If you don’t know the dimensions of your hearing aid battery, you can simply remember the color - blue, orange, brown, or yellow. Every manufacturer uses the same color coding, so you’ll always be able to find a battery that fits your hearing aids.
Using and Caring for Batteries
Hearing aid batteries might seem similar to batteries used in other devices such as watches and calculators, but they are different in several key ways. The biggest difference is that most hearing aid batteries generate energy with an air-based reaction instead of in a closed cell. These batteries - known as zinc-air batteries - are more powerful and provide more stable power than normal alkaline batteries at the cost of decreased overall lifespan.
Because zinc batteries react with air, it’s important to care for them properly. Here are a few tips for taking good care of your hearing aid batteries:
- First, never remove the sticker tab from the battery before you are ready to use it. As soon as you remove the tab, oxygen will enter the battery and it will start to discharge.
- Store your batteries in their original packaging in a cool, dry place such as a drawer or cabinet. Do not keep them in your pocket, and do not keep them in the refrigerator either, as this can damage them and reduce their effectiveness.
- When not wearing your hearing aids, open the battery compartment door of your hearing aid to release built-up moisture and keep the batteries from discharging. This can help prevent corrosion in your hearing aids and allow them to last longer.
- Remove dead batteries from your hearing aids immediately. Completely discharged batteries can change shape or even burst, making them difficult to remove and potentially damaging your hearing aids.
- When changing your batteries, open the seal and then allow them to sit for a few minutes. This allows oxygen to enter the battery and start the chemical reaction for production of electricity.
What Are the Best Batteries?
While hearing aid sizes are standardized, different brands and types of hearing aids can perform differently. Differences can depend on many factors including the type of hearing aids you use, how much amplification you need, your battery care habits and even your environment. Because of this, it can take time and effort to find the best battery for you.
One way to find good, long-lasting batteries is to buy a battery sample pack that includes batteries from different manufacturers so you can compare them against each other during typical use. This can give you a good sense of how long competing types of batteries last and which ones you prefer - though it does take time and requires you to track your results.
Another method is to simply speak to your audiologist. At Audio Recovery, we can help you find the best hearing aids, batteries, and accessories for your needs and lifestyle. Give us a call today at (405) 949-1906 to schedule your appointment, or visit us on Facebook for more hearing tips and advice.
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