Disposable batteries power most hearing aids. And while disposable batteries offer an excellent price-performance ratio, they still cost money so ideally, you want to replace them as infrequently as possible.
There are four types of batteries commonly used in hearing aids (although there are others): 10, 312, 13 and 675. The 675 is the most substantial battery, usually reserved for behind-the-ear devices. These batteries can supply charge for up to 20 days. Smaller cells, like the 312 and the 10 may only provide power for three to seven days.
You don’t want ongoing maintenance of your hearing aids to cost you a fortune. So what can you do to extend the battery life of your device? Let’s take a look.
Remove batteries from the device if you don’t plan on using it for a while
If you’re not planning on using your hearing aid for a while (for instance, overnight), then taking the battery out of the device can help extend its life. Not only will doing so eliminate the possibility of discharge, but it can also prevent the buildup of moisture around the positive and negative terminals which could lead to corrosion. A corroded battery cannot work as efficiently as one that is shiny and new.
Put a dehumidifier in the bedroom
Moisture is one of the most significant enemies of your hearing aid battery because of the risk of corrosion. For this reason, many people choose to put dehumidifiers in their bedrooms at night to prevent moisture buildup in the device. Moisture has a habit of condensing on cold metal surfaces in the hearing aid, so removing moisture from the air may be a way for you to prevent this from happening in the first place.
Leave the battery door open when you’re not using the hearing aid
Again, leaving the battery door open allows the battery to breathe and prevents a buildup of moisture which could cause corrosion.
Do not leave your hearing aids in the bathroom while showering
Showering produces a vast amount of steam. This steam can settle on your hearing aid, leading to corrosion of the battery as well as damage to the sensitive internal electronics. Be safe and leave your hearing aids in the bedroom.
Wait seven minutes before inserting a new battery
The batteries that you put in hearing aids are different from regular alkaline or rechargeable batteries. Hearing aid batteries rely on zinc-air technology, a special kind of cell with a unique chemistry. Zinc-air batteries come with a small plastic tab that needs to be removed. Removing the tab allows the battery to react with the air, causing chemical reactions which enable it to get up to full charge. To get the most out of your zinc-air batteries, therefore, you need to wait around 7 minutes for these reactions to take place before placing them into your device.
Use new batteries
Although zinc-air batteries will last for many years, more recently manufactured batteries last longer. Just like all batteries, zinc-air cells lose their charge over time. The longer that you leave them in the packet, the less charge that they will provide. Savvy hearing aid users usually order their batteries quarterly to maximize the energy output of each cell that they buy.
Wash your hands before replacing a battery
Your hands are covered in grime, dirt and bacteria. And while this is perfectly normal, it can interfere with the ability of a battery to transmit power to a device. Dirt and grime act as insulators. They make it more difficult for batteries to discharge their energy, leading to a buildup of heat. Heat is, in essence, wasted energy, and so it is something that you want to avoid. By washing your hands, you can ensure that the battery gets inserted cleanly and that there is nothing which could cause resistance.
It’s vital that you treat your device with proper care and maintenance. Failing to do so could shorten its life and force early replacement. Making sure that your batteries are fully inserted and doing their job helps to avoid issues further down the line. Many of the strategies for extending battery life also help to increase the life of your hearing aids.
Sometimes, though, just replacing the battery doesn’t solve your hearing aid issues. If you notice that your device is making strange noises or failing to provide any amplification at all, then you may need to bring it to us. To learn more about maintenance and repairs call Northgate Hearing Services at (206) 367-1345 today.