You often hear that dreaded hearing aid “battery low” voice or that fateful “beep beep beep” that signals it is time to change your hearing aid battery. For those that utilize hearing aids, when you hear that sound, you know you better have some spare batteries close at hand. If you wear hearing aids, then you might be familiar with needing to change batteries often.
So how long should your batteries last and can you get them to last longer? There are several methods to get zinc air hearing aid batteries to last longer. These methods include proper storage of the batteries prior to use, taking extra time to allow the batteries to “breathe” before placing them in the hearing aid, and opening the hearing aid’s battery door when not in use.
In order to better understand how you can get your zinc air hearing aid batteries to last longer, it is important to understand how the batteries work, the typical life of hearing aid batteries, and why your hearing aid batteries may be draining faster than normal. Continue reading to learn more!
How Can I Get Zinc-air Batteries to Last Longer
There are several ways to get hearing aid batteries to last longer. Continue reading for a few tips.
- Use your oldest package of batteries first. Batteries usually have a “shelf-life” of about two years if stored correctly. Expiration dates are printed on the battery pack. If you have several packages, make sure to use the oldest ones first to avoid having a large supply of expired batteries.
- Store extra hearing aid batteries properly. Batteries should be stored at room temperature. Extreme hot and cold temperatures and high humidity levels may shorten the life of your batteries. Therefore, do not store your hearing aid batteries in a cool refrigerator or humid bathroom, and do not keep them in a car, which may become extremely hot at times. Additionally, contact with metal objects, such as keys or coins in your purse, wallet, or pocket may cause the batteries to short circuit so try to find a safe place for the batteries when you are on the go.
- Don’t remove the battery’s sticker until you are ready to use it. The battery sticker covers tiny holes in the battery. When the sticker is removed, air can enter the battery, causing a reaction to occur. Keeping the sticker on the battery until it is time to use it will keep the battery fresh while it is in storage.
- Wash your hands before replacing your hearing aid battery. If dirt or grease comes into contact with the battery, this could cause a faster discharge or cause the battery to short-circuit. Making sure that your hands are clean and dry before handling the batteries can prevent this from happening.
- Let the battery “breathe” for several minutes after you remove the sticker and before you put it in the hearing aid. Once you remove the sticker from the battery, the zinc in the battery mixes with the outside air. By letting the battery “breathe” before use, you could extend the lifetime of your battery by several days. After removing the sticker, let the battery sit out before putting it in the hearing aid. Let it sit for at least one minute or, for best results, five minutes. Then place the battery in the hearing aid.
- Leave the battery compartment open when your hearing aids are not in use. Open the battery door when your hearing aid is not in use. This will turn the hearing aid off and prevent the battery from draining when it is not in use.
- Remove the battery from the hearing aid when not in use for an extended period of time. If you know that you will not be using your hearing aid for an extended period of time, remove the battery from the hearing aid. This will prevent corrosion and damage from trapped moisture inside the battery compartment.
- Use a hearing aid dehumidifier. Placing your hearing aids in a dry storage kit with the battery door open will help to protect your hearing aids and the batteries. It will remove moisture from the hearing aid, thereby reducing the possibility of damage and corrosion.
Additional Tips for Getting Hearing Aid Batteries to Last Longer
- If you like gadgets, then you might like the following:
- Keychain battery caddy: This is a small, inexpensive, storage container for keeping spare batteries with you. These containers are small enough to be on a keychain so it does not hold much. However, it can definitely come in handy to have some spare batteries at the ready.
- Battery tester: This gadget can show you your battery life. Some of the basic models show if your battery is dead, low, or good (new). Some of the more expensive models can show you how much battery life you have left.
- If changing your hearing aid batteries is getting to be too much of a hassle, consider rechargeable hearing aids. This type of hearing aid is becoming more popular due to the ease of use. Some rechargeable hearing aids have special, rechargeable batteries that you can replace yourself. Others have the battery built into the hearing aid. When the battery becomes low, you can simply put it on a charger for a while to charge up again.
How Long Do Zinc-air Batteries Usually Last?
Hearing aid batteries can last anywhere between 3 to 20 days. The exact time that a battery will last highly varies and depends on several factors, including:
- Battery size. The standard sizes of hearing aid batteries are 10, 312, 13, and 675. The average lifespan for these batteries is listed in the table below.
- Streaming. If you use your hearing aids to stream phone calls and other media through Bluetooth, then your batteries are likely to drain faster.
- Hours of hearing aid use per day. The more you wear your hearing aids throughout the day, the longer they are using the battery, causing the battery to drain over time.
- Environment. Low humidity environments can cause hearing aid batteries to drain faster due to the batteries drying out faster. Conversely, high-humidity environments can result in moisture issues inside the battery.
- Battery storage and care. Storing your hearing aid batteries in extreme temperatures (either hot or cold) can cause them to drain faster. Leaving the batteries in a low or high-humidity environment may also cause them to drain faster.
How Do Zinc-Air Batteries Work?
A zinc-air battery is a small, specialized kind of battery that is filled with zinc. Zinc-air batteries work similarly to conventional batteries in that they generate electrical power via chemical reactions. However, instead of putting all the necessary elements needed for a reaction inside the battery itself, zinc-air batteries get their main reactor element (oxygen) from the air outside the battery.
So how does this all work? Well, there is an easy explanation and there is a more complex explanation. Both explanations are listed below.
The easy explanation:
When you peel the sticker off a zinc-air battery, the air gets inside the battery, allowing a chemical reaction to occur, causing the battery to power a device.
The complex explanation (information obtained from a 2001 MIT Technology Review):
The zinc-air battery contains several tiny holes on top of it. These holes are covered with a small sticker until the battery is ready to be used. When the sticker is peeled off, the oxygen molecules from the outside air enter the cell through the tiny holes and come into contact with a positively charged electrode (cathode) inside the battery.
Molecules (including hydrogen molecules) inside the battery react with the oxygen to produce a “hydroxyl group” (oxygen bonded to hydrogen). These molecules migrate through an air separator to a negatively charged electrode (anode) that consists of a zinc gel. The hydroxyls bond to a zinc molecule to form “zincate”, which then separates into two hydroxyls (a hydrogen molecule and a zinc oxide) and releases two electrons that then travel through a circuit in order to power a device.
Zinc-air batteries are very small and lightweight. They contain no toxic chemicals, such as mercury, and are not highly flammable or reactive. They can also be safely and easily disposed of or recycled. In some cases, they can even be recharged with new zinc.
But why do zinc-air batteries eventually not work? This is because the constant contact of the zinc with the outside air can dry up the zinc gel inside the battery or, if conditions are too humid, flood the battery with too much moisture.
This article discusses how zinc-air batteries work, how long hearing aid batteries usually last, and possible methods to try in order to get the batteries to last longer. Review the information and give it a try! See if you can notice if your batteries are lasting longer after you use some of these methods.
What do I do if someone accidentally sallows a hearing aid battery? Hearing aid batteries are not meant to be consumed, however, zinc-air batteries are not a poisonous as other small-button batteries. To be safe, we recommend calling poison control. Find out all the information here.
Why do my hearing aid batteries die so quickly? Hearing aid batteries do not last as long as they used to. First, they took the mercury out of the batteries to be more environmentally friendly so they really are an inferior product. But most of the reason is that hearing aids draw more power from then with advanced noise reduction features, sound processing, and wireless functions.
What hearing aid batteries last the longest? Most hearing aid batteries are privately labeled from the same manufacturer and are going to last the same no matter what company you buy but the overall consensus is that Rayovac Proline (affiliate link to Amazon) lasts the longest.
Can I use hearing aid batteries after they expire? There is no harm in using a hearing aid battery after the expiration date passes on the package. However, it probably won’t last as long as a newer battery. Read our in-debt look at this question in this article.