Understanding Hearing Aid Batteries
Hearing aids are incredibly important, useful devices that help millions of people to live their lives to the fullest. Anyone who has ever selected a hearing aid will know the importance of finding the right style for their needs, but there is one element of most devices that is a little less well-known: the battery.
All hearing aids rely on their batteries in order to function and an understanding of these batteries, how they work and how they can be best protected is incredibly important for all hearing aid users.
What type of batteries are used in hearing aids?
In most cases, hearing aid batteries are disposable zinc-air batteries. This means that the batteries require oxygen to function. The batteries arrive with a sticker or tab which, once removed, exposes tiny holes in the battery to the air, effectively activating it.
This feature means that, technically, hearing aid batteries are always switched on. Even if you replace the sticker, you cannot reverse the activation process.
Can hearing aid batteries be recharged?
No, zinc-air hearing aid batteries, unfortunately, cannot be recharged.
What are the sizes of hearing aid batteries?
The vast majority of hearing aids use one of the following four types of battery:
- Blue (#675) hearing aid batteries are 11.6mm x 5.4 mm in size. They are used to power behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids.
- Orange (#13) hearing aid batteries are 7.9mm x 5.4 mm. They are used to power BTE and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids.
- Brown (#312) hearing aid batteries are 7.9mm x 3.6mm. They are used to power “mini” BTE hearing aids, receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids.
- Yellow (#10) hearing aid batteries are the smallest size, at 5.8mm x 3.6mm. They are used to power “mini” RITE hearing aids and completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids.
How long do hearing aid batteries last?
It depends entirely on the type of battery. As one might expect, the larger batteries tend to last longer than the smaller batteries, for example:
- Blue #675 batteries have a lifespan of between nine and 20 days.
- Orange #13 batteries have a lifespan of between six and 14 days.
- Brown #312 batteries have a lifespan of between three and 10 days.
- Yellow #10 batteries have a lifespan of between three and seven days.
The reason for these rather variable longevity lengths – for example, nine to 20 days for Blue #675 suggests the same battery is capable of lasting twice as long in certain instances – is due to individual use. The more you use a battery and the higher the amplification is turned during use, impacts the overall lifespan. Affordable Audiology customers who use their hearing aids at a low amplification for short periods of time will see closer to the higher end of the lifespan range; high amplification and long periods of use will experience the lower end of the scale.
Is there anything that can be done to increase hearing aid battery lifespan?
There are a few things you may want to try in order to ensure you get the longest possible use from every battery you use:
- Turn your hearing aid off when it is not being worn. This does not stop the battery from being active – due to the zinc-air nature of the battery – but it does help to ensure that the power draw is as low as possible.
- Open the battery compartment of your device when not in use, as this can help prevent moisture from building up.
- Always carry your hearing aids in a sealed container rather than loose in your bag or pocket, as this helps to prevent the batteries from short-circuiting.
- Hearing aid batteries perform best when used at room temperature; avoid excessive heat and always store your device in a dry, clean space.
How are hearing aid batteries used?
Receive a new battery.
- Remove the tab or sticker only if you are intending to use the battery immediately.
- When the tab is removed, wait at least one minute to allow them to absorb enough oxygen to work correctly. This process is known as “airing up.”
- The battery is now ready to use.
How should used hearing aid batteries be disposed of?
You will need to check the packaging to ascertain whether your batteries contain mercury, which is often used to assist with conductivity.
- If your batteries do contain mercury, they should only be disposed of at a recycling center that accepts mercury batteries.
- If your batteries do not contain mercury, they can be disposed of as part of standard household waste.
Now you know more about what to expect from your hearing aid batteries, you can find out more about how hearing aids as a whole could benefit you by calling Affordable Audiology & Hearing Service at (920) 232-4752.