Your hearing aid relies on quality batteries to function properly. Without good working batteries, the device won’t have the power it needs to help you hear.
Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re concerned that your batteries may not be lasting as long as they should, and you want to get to the root of the problem.
Some variables to keep in mind
There’s a wide variety of hearing aid styles, brands and models on the market. From behind the ear and in the ear devices to more discreet hearing aids that sit in the ear canal, there is a hearing aid to suit every individual’s activity levels, lifestyle and budget.
Generally speaking, the frequency with which you’ll need to change out the batteries in your device will depend on these variables:
- the type of hearing aid
- the type of battery
- the environment you live in
- the number of hours in a day the hearing aid is used
Don’t be caught without power
No one wants to have their hearing aid lose power in the middle of an important activity, like a work meeting or family gathering. A good way to reduce that risk is to keep track—whether it’s in a notebook, a calendar or an app on your phone—of how often you need to change your batteries.
If you see that your batteries are usually drained after eight days of use, for example, you can set a regular reminder for yourself to change the batteries on the morning of the eighth day. Another benefit of scheduling your battery changes like this is that you’ll also notice right away if your batteries aren’t lasting as long as they used to.
Read on for some common factors that can affect the life of your batteries—and a great tip that can increase their lifespan by as much as 85 per cent!
Reason 1 – Your personal hearing habits or preferences have changed.
Have you started raising the volume on your hearing aid? The greater the amplification, the more power the hearing aid needs, which will cause reduced battery life. If you are using advanced features on your hearing device that you didn’t use before, this could also be draining your batteries more quickly.
Reason 2 – Something in your environment has changed.
Environmental factors like humidity and temperature can have an effect on battery life. Low humidity can make batteries dry out, while high humidity can make them swell and leak, reducing battery life. Low temperatures (which are common in Alberta) lower battery voltage, making batteries reach their functional endpoint more quickly.
Reason 3 – You’re wearing your hearing aid more than usual.
The more you use your hearing aid, the more you use the batteries. If your days are getting longer, and you’re wearing your hearing aid more than you used to, you can expect to have to change your batteries more often.
Reason 4 – You’re connecting your hearing aid to your TV, phone or other devices.
Advances in technology allow you to enjoy all kinds of activities with your hearing aid, but additional use requires additional power, and you will likely find yourself changing your batteries more often as a result.
Reason 5 – You’re leaving the battery door closed when your hearing aid isn’t in use.
Whenever you are not using your hearing aid, it should be turned off, placed in a safe spot and left with the battery door open. This cuts down on battery drain and also allows moisture to escape, which will keep the battery from corroding and damaging your hearing aid (see the earlier point about humidity).
If for some reason you choose not to wear your hearing aid for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to remove the battery altogether.
Reason 6 – You’re putting your batteries in too quickly.
Hearing aid batteries are known as ‘zinc-air’ batteries. They come packaged with a little coloured tab or sticker on top that has to be removed before you put the battery in your hearing aid, because contact with air activates the battery.
For years, audiologists told their customers that they should only remove the sticker right before they placed the battery in the hearing aid. That was before high school student Ethan Manuell, a 14-year-old with hearing loss, discovered a money-saving trick while working on a science project.
Ethan found that he could actually extend the life of zinc-air batteries by letting them sit for five minutes after removing the tab or sticker—exposing them to oxygen prior to putting them in the hearing aid.
It’s estimated that Ethan’s discovery could save the average hearing aid user about $70 per year. (Read more about Ethan’s project here.)
Still having battery issues?
If none of the factors listed here apply to your situation, and your batteries are still not lasting as long as they should, it’s a good idea to speak with your audiologist.
The experienced team at Clarico Hearing offers the full spectrum of services to help you with your hearing, from consultation, hearing aid information, fittings and instruction to followup services including hearing aid repairs and maintenance. Contact us today.