How Hearing Aid Batteries Work
The most common type of hearing aid batteries on the market today use zinc air technology which means air from the atmosphere is the active ingredient. Once the tab is removed, you can see the tiny holes in the battery; these holes are what allow air to enter the battery and power it up.
Air Up Time
After the tab is removed, allow the battery sit for 1 minute untabbed before inserting the battery into the device. The reason to let it sit is because the air needs time to get into the battery. Taking the tab off and immediately putting the battery in the hearing aid limits the amount of air it is exposed to. This could cause the battery to seem “dead” because the voltage could not reach the necessary level to power the device. If this happens allow air to enter the cell and increase the voltage. After 1 minute, put the battery back into the device.
Fresh is best
Like all batteries, zinc air hearing aid batteries will slowly lose charge over time (less than 10% per year with a tab). To get the most from your batteries, purchase batteries frequently. The fresher they are the better they perform.To ﬁnd out the best before date see the 4 digit date code on the reverse of the pack.
While it says 1.45 volts on the battery package, a tabbed voltage will measure 1.1 - 1.3 volts. After un-tabbing, voltage will rise enough to power a hearing aid. The cell may need several hours to rise to maximum 1.45 volts.
It is common for people to ask how long their hearing aid battery will last. In a market survey, device users were asked how long their hearing aid batteries last. The chart shows the ranges of results and that life expectancy ranges can vary greatly.
The Bottom Line...
There is no one answer that is going to work for all hearing aid wearers. The best way to understand the battery life is for an individual to benchmark their battery performance over time.
Factors affecting battery life
There are many factors that affect how long a hearing aid battery lasts, below are detailed some of the most common. All these factors combine to make a person’s hearing loss experience as unique as a person’s “ﬁngerprint”.
An individuals hearing loss
As severity increases, increased ampliﬁcation is required which increases the current, and therefore reduced battery life.
The noise around you can affect battery life. A battery will drain less in a library versus a restaurant or rock concert. Also, if the volume is “maxed out” on your hearing aid this will prematurely drain the battery.
Personal hearing aid usage
2 things to take into account:
How many hours a day do they wear their hearing aid?
How many days a week do they wear their hearing aid?
The more advanced the aid is, the more power is required. Features in today’s digital instruments like wireless streaming, bluetooth connection and noise cancellation all require high current to function. Below you can see how the current demands (mAh) on the hearing aid batteries change as the more advanced features are used:
As humidity is reduced, batteries may dry out reducing the battery life
As humidity increases batteries may take on moisture, interfering with the natural discharge expansion.
As altitude increases the percentage of oxygen in the air is reduced. This can cause the battery to reach the endpoint earlier.
As temperature is reduced, hearing aid battery voltage is lowered, which reduces battery life.
How can I recycle my old batteries?
Under the European Battery Directive all batteries must be recycled, there are multiple facilities set up in your local retail outlets, ofﬁces, civic buildings, schools and other public amenitie
How often should I change my battery?
Once you become familiar with your hearing aid and batteries, you can determine which system works best for you. Always carry spare batteries with you at all times.