Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aid Batteries
All batteries are toxic and dangerous if swallowed. Keep all batteries (and hearing aids) away from children and pets. If anyone swallows a battery it is a medical emergency and the individual needs to see a physician immediately.
One question often asked is ‘How long does the battery last?’ Typically they last 7-14 days based on a 16 hour per day use cycle. Batteries are very inexpensive, costing less than a dollar each. Generally, the smaller the battery size, the shorter the battery life. The sizes of hearing aid batteries are listed below along with their standard number and color codes.
- Size 10 – YELLOW
- Size 13 – ORANGE
- Size 312 – BROWN
- Size 675 – BLUE
Today’s hearing aid batteries are ‘zinc-air.’ Because the batteries are air-activated, a factory-sealed sticker keeps them ‘inactive’ until you remove the sticker. Once the sticker is removed from the back of the battery, oxygen in the air contacts the zinc within the battery, and the battery is ‘turned-on’. Placing the sticker back on the battery will not prolong its life. Since many of today’s automatic hearing aids do not have ‘off’ switches, opening the battery door at night assures that the device is turned off. Zinc-air batteries have a ‘shelf life’ of up to three years when stored in a cool, dry environment. Storing zinc-air hearing aids in the refrigerator has no beneficial effect on their shelf life, in fact, quite the opposite may happen. The cold air may actually form little water particles under the sticker. Water is made of oxygen and hydrogen. If the water vapor creeps under the sticker, the oxygen may contact the zinc, and the battery could be totally discharged by the time you peel off the sticker! Therefore, the best place to store batteries is in a cool dry place, like the back of your sock drawer, not the fridge!
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:
- 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.
- 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.