Hearing aid batteries are a common topic of discussion at Living Sounds. Many clients report that some brands last longer than others, but I am primarily knowledgeable about Rayovac batteries, as they’re the batteries we trust and use in our clinics.
Here are some of the factors that will determine how long a hearing aid battery lasts:
1. As the severity of hearing loss increases, more amplification is required which draws more current from the battery, draining it quicker.
2. The smaller the battery, the shorter life span it has. For example, a size 10 battery lasts 3-5 days, a size 312 lasts 5-7 days, a size 13 lasts 7-10 days, and a size 675 lasts 10-14 days (approximately).
3. The number of days per week and the number of hours a day a hearing aid is used can determine how long a battery lasts. The more it’s used, the quicker it drains.
4. Different features in today’s digital hearing aids can increase battery currents such as: noise cancellation, multi-channel processing, FM looping, tinnitus sound generators, and wireless or Bluetooth streaming features. How fast a battery drains depends on how often these features are used and for how long. Having said that, these features are very necessary —especially if the hearing aids are being worn in busy environments to improve hearing speech over background noise.
5. Environmental factors: Low humidity in cold winter months can cause batteries to dry out if they’re primarily indoors for many months. High humidity may cause batteries to take on moisture, interfering with the natural function resulting in swelling or leakage. Another factor is temperature — batteries can drain faster when they spend too long in cold outdoor or refrigerated environments. And finally, higher altitudes mean less oxygen in the air, which can lower battery voltage, causing it to die sooner.
Important Tips: To get more life from your zinc air hearing aid batteries, remove the sticker tab from the top of the battery and allow the battery to sit for one to five minutes (when possible) to ‘air up’. The battery voltage will rise to about 1.3 volts, which can power a hearing aid. The battery can take up to 24 hours to reach the full voltage of 1.45 volts, but this level is not required to power a hearing aid. Once you have removed the sticker tab from a battery it cannot be stuck back on the battery. An un-tabbed battery is active and will drain slowly even if never used in a hearing aid.
I hope these tips will help you with your hearing aid batteries in the future.
Kim Ryll, BC-HIS
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences