For many, a hearing aid is a vital tool for daily life, and it is important that it functions properly. Low batteries can cause this device to function sporadically or even cease functioning altogether. While all batteries run down eventually, there are some factors that can affect the life of this power source.
It is important to remember that there are some things related to battery life that are beyond your control. The specific device and type of battery required for the device will determine the baseline battery life. These batteries come in four color-coded sizes, and certain sizes simply last longer, while some hearing aid models drain power faster than others. This means that trying to base your expectations of the life of your batteries on another person’s hearing aid experience is likely to be less helpful than paying attention to how long your own device tends to last.
You may, on occasion, encounter a battery that does not work the way it was intended due to problems during manufacturing. In these situations, do not simply try to “make do” with a bad set of batteries. Most manufacturers will reimburse you for this if you contact them and send back the battery with the original packaging. While the above factors are beyond your control, there are some things you can do to extend the life of your hearing aid batteries.
When you purchase new batteries, avoid removing the plastic tabs on the back if they will be stored for a time prior to installation. Zinc hearing aid batteries are typically air activated, and once the tabs are removed, the battery is exposed to the air and begins to release its charge. This can cause the charge in the battery to be partially used before even being installed in the hearing aid.
The way a battery is stored can also affect its lifespan. While it was once true that storing batteries in a cool refrigerator helped them last longer, modern batteries do not benefit from this. In fact, being stored in a cold environment can even deplete them. Unused batteries should be kept at room temperature. Avoid storing them near metal items such as coins or keys, as close contact with these items can short circuit the batteries.
The length of time a new battery is stored before use can also affect its lifespan. Having spare batteries and buying in bulk are good ideas in moderation, but in extreme cases, long-term storage can reduce battery life. Hearing aid batteries can be used after years of storage, but there will be a cost to the life of the battery with every passing year. This makes it a good idea to track when batteries were purchased and use the oldest ones first when installing a new set.
Always clean your hands before attempting to touch and install a new set of hearing aid batteries. Any dirt or grease that ends up on the battery during installation can cause corrosion or even damage to the device itself. This also applies if you need to take a battery out of the hearing aid temporarily at any point.
As mentioned above, this power source is typically air-activated. You should remove the plastic tabs and allow the battery to sit exposed to the air momentarily before installation. This will give it time to be fully activated by the air prior to being placed in the device.
Finally, you should always turn off the device when it is not in use to conserve battery power. While the device is powered off, the battery cover can be left open to allow any moisture built up to evaporate, thus avoiding corrosion. If you anticipate the hearing aid being inactive for an extended period, removing the battery entirely is another way to conserve its energy.