With the relatively recent advent of rechargeable batteries for hearing aids, we have received a lot of questions about hearing aid batteries, and how all the different options work. The information available can be a little confusing, so we thought we would break it down for you here!
Generally, there are two different types of batteries: disposable and rechargeable.
This week, we will discuss the ins and outs of disposable batteries.
Disposable batteries were the only battery option available for hearing aids for a long time. The “official” name is zinc-air, because the batteries are air-activated. Each individual battery comes with a sticker attached, and you peel off the sticker when you are ready to use the battery.
Disposable batteries come in four different sizes denoted by different colored stickers. From smallest to largest they are: 10 (yellow), 312 (brown), 13 (orange), and 675 (blue). The size of the battery generally correlates with the size or the power of the hearing aid. The size of the battery also typically correlates with the length of battery life (the smaller the battery, the more often you will have to change it). The average battery life is about 5-7 days, however, other factors (such as stream time and wear time) can affect that number.
An advantage to using disposable batteries is general reliability; you will not need to worry about charging a device, and if the batteries do lose power unexpectedly, you can almost always find them at a local pharmacy or grocery store.
A disadvantage to using disposable batteries is the maintenance; disposable batteries require replacement about once per week, which does involve some fine motor skills and replenishing a stock as needed.
Tips: For those of you with hearing aids that require disposable batteries, below are a few tips and tricks that can help ease replacement/lengthen the life of them:
Try and wait at least a minute between the time you peel the sticker off the battery and when you place it in your hearing aid.
If a battery is intermittent/does not seem to work well upon placing it in your hearing aid, make sure any sticker residue is completely off the battery. You can also check the expiration date on the card or carton of hearing aid batteries – sometimes batteries can become intermittent even within a year of the expiration date listed.
Always make sure the “plus sign” or the flat side of the battery is facing up in your hearing aid (you should be able to see the “+” when the battery is inserted in your hearing aid/there should not be any part of the hearing aid touching the top/flat side of the battery). You should not have to force the battery into its compartment, so if you are getting a lot of resistance, check and make sure it is facing the correct way. Remember – if all else fails, contact your audiologist!
Hopefully that clears up any confusion/curiosities regarding disposable batteries and hearing aids. Remember to come back and visit this space next month, where we will talk about rechargeable hearing aids!
Have a “powerfully” awesome rest of July, friends!