All You Want To Know About Hearing Aid Batteries

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While buying a Hearing aid, your dispenser will explain all the functions and features to you. He or she will also explain how to insert the battery. But we get very few tips on handling and care of batteries. Proper care of Hearing aid accessories. is important to keep the Hearing aids in good working condition. Hearing aid batteries are one of most important accessories.

All you want to know about hearing aid batteries

Why Do Hearing Aids Need Batteries?

Hearing aids process and amplify the speech or sound waves. The amplification process requires power. Batteries supply the power to the Hearing aids. Earlier manufacturers used Mercury in the batteries. Due to strict pollution control rules, use of mercury is not allowed. Currently, we use Zinc Air batteries which are non-polluting.

What are the Common Hearing Aid Battery Sizes?

Hearing aid batteries are available in various sizes. Every size has a number. The most commonly used battery sizes are:

  • Hearing aid battery size 675

  • Hearing aid battery size 13

  • Hearing aid battery size 312

  • Hearing aid battery size 10

All reputed battery manufacturers follow the global technical standards. The physical size, voltage and current capacity is common to all brands.

Some battery manufacturers add an alphabet along with the number for branding purpose. A p312 battery is the same as A312 or 312a or a 312 battery. Similarly, a p675 is same as A675, 675a or 675.

The size 675 is the biggest battery by way of diameter and size 10 is the smallest.

How to Identify Hearing Aid Batteries?

Normally the size or the battery number is not printed or embossed on the battery itself. One has to identify the battery size or number by the colour of the tab stuck to the battery or the print on the pack.

Hearing aid Battery packs
Hearing aid Battery packs

In case you do not have the packet handy, the tab will help you identify the battery for your Hearing aid.

  • Size #675 Blue tab

  • Size #13 Orange tab

  • Size #312 Brown tab

  • Size #10 Yellow tab

Hearing aid batteries with coloured tabs
Hearing aid batteries with coloured tabs

Why Hearing Aid Batteries Have A Tab?

There are 2 reasons for having a tab stuck on the positive side of the battery.

  • Extending Shelf Life of Hearing Aid Batteries
  • Identifying Hearing Aid Battery Size or number by the colour of the tab

Why Do Batteries Have Holes on One Side?

Air holes in hearing aid batteries
Air holes in hearing aid batteries

On removing the coloured tab, the air enters the battery through the tiny holes.  The Zinc stored in the battery and the air from the atmosphere reacts to produce power.

How to Extend the Shelf Life of Hearing Aid Batteries?

Follow the following tips to extend the shelf life of the batteries.

  • Keeping the tab in place till you actually need to use the battery extends the shelf life. The chemical reaction in the battery will not start if the company fixed tab is in place.
  • Store the batteries at room temperature. Storing them in hot places will reduce the life of the battery. Avoid storing them in the glove compartment of the car. Storing the batteries in the refrigerator is also not advisable.

How Long Do Hearing Batteries Last?

Hearing aid battery manufacturers do not specify the working life of the battery. The life of the battery depends on the following factors.

  • Size or Type of the Battery.

The smaller the size, the lesser the power it can deliver. A size 675 battery delivers more power than a size 10 battery.

  • The Power Requirement of the Hearing Aid

The power requirement depends on the amplification or power of the Hearing aid. The power requirement will differ from one model to another. A Hearing aid for profound Hearing loss will need more power than a Hearing aid for Mild or Moderate loss.

  • Usage per Day

Battery life depends on the usage pattern of the Hearing aid user. Some people use the Hearing aid for 14 hours a day while others may use it for 8 hours. Hearing aid battery life is measured in working hours.

You should change the batteries depending on the average battery life as per your use. Most modern Hearing aids have a low battery warning beep.

Can I Charge My Hearing Aid Batteries?

The Zinc Air batteries are not rechargeable. They are single-use disposable batteries. Hearing aid Rechargeable batteries use Nickel Cadmium or Lithium Ion. The packet will clearly mention if they are rechargeable.

Why Do Hearing Aid Batteries Leak or Expand?

Store batteries at moderate temperatures. If stored at a place where the humidity is very high, the moisture enters through the air holes. The moisture absorbed by the Zinc results in expansion or leakage. Similarly, if the temperature is high, the heat will dry the chemical inside.

9 Simple Tips on Making Your Hearing Aid Batteries Last Longer

Follow the simple tips to ensure your Hearing aid batteries last longer.

  1. Do not remove the tab on the Hearing aid batteries till you are ready to use them. Removing the tab starts the chemical reaction. Putting the tab back after removing does not totally stop it. The batteries stay fresh as long as the company fixed tab is in place.
Hearing aid battery holders
Hearing aid battery holders

2. Carry extra batteries with you while you travel. However, do not carry loose batteries in your pocket along with coins. Metal objects like coins or keys will short the batteries. The batteries will heat up and discharge. Carry them in the original packaging or a battery carrying case.

3. Do not insert the battery immediately after removing the tab. Let the air enter the battery to start the reaction. Wait for 5 minutes before inserting in the Hearing aid.

4. While inserting the battery in the Hearing aid, ensure that your hands are clean. Dirt particles, grease or face cream may block the tiny air hole. This will stop the chemical reaction.

5. It is very important to store the batteries in the right place. Do not store where the temperatures are extreme. Extreme heat or cold will reduce the life of the batteries. In tropical countries store the batteries in a cool dry place. Do not refrigerate batteries.

6. Open the battery compartment of your Hearing aid when not in use. Use stay dry box to keep the moisture away. The batteries absorb the moisture in the hearing aid. It can also cause corrosion.

7. Remove the batteries if you are not a regular Hearing aid user. Do not leave the battery inside an unused Hearing aid.

8. If you purchase the batteries in bulk, check the expiry date before buying.

9. If you have many battery packs with you, use the old batteries first.

Many elderly people who cannot go out often to buy batteries can order them online.

We give very little importance to care and maintenance of Hearing aid batteries. Batteries are the most important accessory for a Hearing aid. No battery means no working Hearing aid.

Families with small children in the house should be careful in disposing off the used batteries. Do not leave them lying around.

About the Author
Amrik singh aroraAmrik Singh Arora  is the founder of EarGuru – the Ear Health Blog. An Engineer by qualification, he has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing and sale of Hearing aids, Audiometers and Assistive listening devices. He was the Secretary of the Hearing Association of India from 2013 to 2017 and was last Associated with Starkey India as a Director-Business Development.

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