Battery life is a hot topic in my office. Hearing aid batteries are powerful little marvels that bring a hearing aid to life. They come in a very small package, which enables the manufacturer to make powerful hearing aids smaller and smaller. Unfortunately, due to the batteries’ size and strength, their lifespan is limited. Fortunately, thanks to Ethan Manuell, a grade 8 student in Rochester, Minneapolis, we now know of a way to extend the amount of time those tiny batteries will last.
All hearing aid batteries have a sticky tab that needs to be removed to activate them. When the tab is removed, oxygen mixes with zinc oxide inside the battery. Currently on the back of the package, battery manufacturers state “for the best results, let a new battery sit un-tabbed for 1 minute before inserting into device”. Ethan, with the help of his audiologist, did some research and found out that 1 minute is good, but 5 minutes is better. His research showed that with 5 minutes of “air time” between when the tab comes off and when the battery is inserted in the hearing aid, a hearing aid user will get an extra 2 – 3 days of battery life. One of my clients has tested this for me, and the lifespan of her batteries went from 6 days to 8 days.
If you find yourself constantly changing your batteries, pull off the tab and wait 5 minutes. See if you notice a difference! Hopefully you will use fewer batteries throughout the year, which will save you money in the end.
If you would like to read Ethan’s study, go to KIMT.com.
Amanda McLeod, BC-HIS
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences