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Hearing Aid Batteries FAQs

a pair of high tech

Hearing aids, like most of today's mobile electronic devices, rely on batteries. Here, we're going to run through some of the most common hearing aid battery questions that you might have.

What types of hearing aid batteries are there?

Hearing aid batteries can be split into two separate categories: rechargeable and non-rechargeable.

In the past, the most common form of hearing aid battery was the non-rechargeable variety. Non-rechargeable cells use alkaline chemistry – the most energy-dense type of battery available today. The problem, however, was that users had to periodically replace the batteries with fresh ones, forcing hearing aid manufacturers to include battery doors on their devices.

Many of today's hearing aids, however, use rechargeable batteries, similar to mobile phones. Hearing aids with rechargeable batteries can be plugged into a charger overnight to recharge, ready to use in the morning.

How long do hearing aid batteries last?

How long your hearing aid batteries last depend on the type of cell and how often you use your hearing aids.

Non-rechargeable alkaline batteries tend to last between three and twenty days, with smaller batteries lasting less time than larger ones.

Rechargeable batteries don't have as high an energy density as non-rechargeable batteries, and so they may only last a couple of days. However, the benefit of rechargeable batteries is that you can top them up when they start to run low.

How should I store my hearing aid batteries?

Just like regular batteries, you should store hearing aid batteries in a cool, dry place. Most hearing aid batteries will slowly lose their charge over time, so it's best to buy them regularly, rather than in bulk at the start of the year.

Is there any way that I can minimize battery drain?

It can be a major inconvenience when your hearing aid battery starts running low. But the good news is that there are ways you can minimize drain. First, switch off your hearing aid while not in use and leave the battery door open (if it has one). Second, try to avoid exposing your hearing aid to extremes of temperature, especially low temperatures. Low temperatures decrease the energy efficiency of the chemical reaction inside the cell, leading to less overall power.

How long do rechargeable hearing aid batteries take to charge?

Rechargeable hearing aid batteries typically take between three and four hours to charge, depending on the manufacturer. Rechargeable batteries for larger devices take longer to charge than cells for smaller devices.

How many hours of continuous use can I get from a single charge?

Most manufacturers design the cells in their assistive hearing devices to provide more than 24 hours of continuous use. The actual length of time you can use your device will depend on what you ask your hearing aid to do while you're wearing it. The higher the amplification, for instance, the greater the drain. Likewise, if you're using wireless technologies, like Bluetooth, you'll drain the battery faster as these rely on power-hungry receivers.

How long does a rechargeable battery last on a hearing aid?

Most hearing aid manufacturers claim that rechargeable batteries on their hearing devices last for around four to five years. However, as battery technology improves, we could see longer lifetimes in the future.

Why do my hearing aid batteries have a removable tab?

Zinc-air batteries (not rechargeable), have a removable tab. The purpose of the tab is to keep air out of the cell until you use it. Removing the tab primes the internal chemistry to provide charge.

If your device uses zinc-air batteries wait for a couple of minutes after removing the tab to insert it into your device.

What are the most common battery standards for hearing aids?

Hearing aids typically use four battery standards, depending on the size and design of the device: 10, 13, 312 and 675.

Rechargeable batteries are not usually removable, so if your device uses rechargeable batteries, you don't need to worry about battery standards.

Do my hearing aid batteries contain mercury?

Some removable hearing aid batteries contain mercury, though there are alternatives available. If you are concerned about mercury, check the battery packaging or manufacturer's website.

The nuances of hearing aid battery technology can be a challenge to understand. But you can learn all you need to know from a certified audiologist. The most straightforward approach is to purchase a hearing aid that uses rechargeable batteries.

If you want to learn more about hearing aid batteries, get in touch with Advantage Hearing & Audiology today. For Greensboro call 336-271-4944 and Eden 336-623-2422.