If you wear hearing aids, you know how important it is to have good batteries. You could make a strong case that the most important part of your hearing aid is the battery: without it, nothing else works. In this short article, I’ll show you everything you need to know about hearing aid batteries so that you can get the most out of your hearing aids.
How Hearing Aid Batteries Work
Hearing aids take a particular kind of battery called zinc-air batteries. Each battery has a sticker that covers tiny holes on the top of the battery. When the sticker is removed, air enters the battery through the holes, creating a chemical reaction between the oxygen in the air and the zinc that activates the battery. After the battery is active it doesn’t help to reapply the sticker when you’re not using the hearing aid.
Hearing Aid Battery Types
Zinc-air hearing aid batteries come in four standard sizes, labeled with a standard number and color codes. The four sizes, from smallest to largest, are:
- 10 - Yellow
- 312 – Brown
- 13 – Orange
- 675 - Blue
The numbers and colors above are used by all hearing aid battery manufacturers, but sometimes they add additional letters to their packaging. For example, if your hearing aid uses a size 312 battery, you can use a 312AZ, A312, or a P312. As long as the number on the package is correct, it will work in your hearing aid.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You can effortlessly lengthen the life of your hearing aid batteries with one simple trick. As soon as you remove the sticker to activate the battery, wait 1-2 minutes before inserting the battery into your hearing aids and closing the door. By removing the sticker and waiting for a few minutes, air is able to completely activate the battery before you start drawing power from it. This can extend the battery life. A few other tips:
- Keep the batteries away from coins, keys, or other metal items that could drain the battery.
- When the hearing aid isn’t being used, turn it off and store it with the battery door open.
- Store your batteries at room temperature. This advice is so crucial that the next section is devoted to the topic.
- When you buy batteries, always look on the back of the battery package for the “good through” date. It should be at least 3 years beyond the date of purchase. Assuming you are reading this in 2015, If the batteries you just bought say they are good through 2016 - they are probably more than half discharged because they may have been sitting on the shelf more than 2 years.
How to Store Your Hearing Aid Batteries
There’s an old misconception that storing your batteries in the refrigerator extends their life. This is not only mistaken; it produces the opposite result! The thinking behind storing your batteries in the refrigerator is that the cold temperature will reduce the discharge of power. The problem is that storing them in the refrigerator adds moisture resulting in corrosion and a high risk of premature failure. Therefore, for best performance, simply keep your batteries away from extreme hot or cold temperatures and store at room temperature.These are just a few tips to help you get the most out of your hearing aid batteries.
As a young boy, I watched how my mother dealt with her hearing loss. It began as a mild inconvenience and gradually increased, creating a constant struggle to stay engaged and connected to everything she held dear. I was the third youngest of seven children. Growing up on a small farm in northeast Indiana, we didn’t have much by today’s standards, but we loved each other deeply and always had our needs met. My dad worked hard to provide for the family. He worked hard through the week, but he also knew how to play with his kids. He would say, “Weekends were made for family.” He could make a game out of anything!
It was evident he loved his family and he loved his wife. My Dad was a man who didn’t invest much in this world’s goods, but he invested greatly in his family.
My Mom and Dad were a great team together. Mom was loving, tender, always thinking of others and a great cook! Her focus in life was on her husband, her children, and church.
When I was in my mid teens, we started noticing that Mom began to struggle with her hearing. We heard a lot of, “What?” “What was that?” “Say that again please.” As time went on, her hearing declined even more. There were times she would misunderstand what one of us had said and when she repeated what she thought was said, it was truly funny. Everyone, including Mom, would be rolling with laughter. But there were many times when the hearing loss created a misunderstanding that wasn’t funny – it was actually frustrating and sometimes hurtful.
Mom was fit with hearing aids, which helped significantly. However, they were only part of the solution. My Dad helped us kids understand that “better hearing” (or better communication) isn’t just Mom’s responsibility, it’s up to all of us to help Mom hear better.
I want to share four “helpful hints” that Dad would tell us. These helped to greatly reduce the frustration of her hearing loss.
- “Get Mom’s attention before you begin talking”……..
- “You must look at her…face to face.”…………
- “Slow down your speech….slow is better than loud………..
- “Turn down the TV/Radio when you want to have a meaningful conversation.”………
They sound basic and simple but they had a big impact on our family. If someone you love is having trouble with their hearing, incorporate these strategies to help lessen the frustration of hearing loss.