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How Long Do Hearing Aid Batteries Last
Updated on: August 2022
Written by: Becky Dotson
If you wear hearing aids, then you know how essential battery life is to your day-to-day living. Unfortunately, hearing aid batteries drain quickly and need to be changed often. Depending on the brand of battery and make and model of your hearing aids, you can expect to change them out anywhere from once a week to several times a month.
The biggest factor on battery drain is how often and how long you use your hearing aids. If you only use them selectively in specific situations, batteries will last longer. If you wear them all day every day you can expect to change batteries more often.
Only one size battery will fit in your hearing aid. The size you need can generally be found on the packaging your hearing aids came in. There may be extra letters in the battery size – but look for the number. It will tell you what size you need. Sometimes, you can find the battery size in the battery compartment of your hearing aids.
Where to Buy
Most big box retailers carry hearing aid batteries, often in the electronics section. You can also buy them at stand-alone pharmacies and through online retailers like Amazon. Some online purchases can be scheduled as a regularly recurring order at an interval you set.
How to Change
When you get ready to install a new battery, remove the tab. It will expose the tiny holes in the battery. Wait at least one minute before inserting it in the battery compartment. That will give the battery time to ‘air up’ or absorb enough oxygen to work well.
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Understanding Hearing Aid Batteries
Most hearing aids work with disposable zinc-air batteries, which need oxygen to work. New batteries have a sticker or tab you have to remove first. When you take it off, it exposes the tiny holes in the battery to the air and activates the battery. So, once the sticker or tab is removed the battery is technically always on.
Even with all the types of hearing aids on the market, they, for the most part, only work with one of four battery types.
- Brown tab or #312 batteries power in-the-canal hearing aids (ITC), receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids (RITE), and ‘mini’ behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE). These batteries will generally last between three and 10 days.
- Orange tab or #13 can power BTE and in-the-ear hearing aids (ITE) and typically last anywhere from six to 14 days.
- Blue tab or #675 batteries are used for BTEs and have a lifespan between nine and 20 days.
- Yellow tab or #10 batteries are used for ‘mini’ RITE hearing aids and completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids. These batteries are the smallest and last anywhere from three to seven days.
What Influences Battery Life
How often you use your hearing aids isn’t the only factor in battery life. There are several other reasons hearing aid batteries die quickly including your level of hearing loss. How much hearing help you need affects how much amplification the hearing aid has to provide. So, the greater the level of hearing loss, the harder the batteries have to work.
Other factors which may influence your battery life include:
As mentioned, there are typically only four types of batteries used in hearing aids. They are all a different size, which can influence how long they last. As you might expect, the bigger the battery is, the longer it will last.
It seems like weather can affect everything, and hearing aid batteries are no exception. The humidity level and the temperature where you live can impact how long your hearing aid batteries last. If the humidity is low, batteries can dry out faster. If the humidity is high, the moisture can create the battery to swell, leak and die quicker.
Exposure to cold temperatures also can cause the voltage in your battery to deplete. But heat can cause problems, too. In particular, temperatures between 90 and 100 degrees can affect how your battery performs and how long it lasts.
How high you live above sea level can affect the life of your hearing aid battery. The higher the altitude, the lower the amount of oxygen in the air and that can have an impact on your batteries – causing them not to last as long.
Roughly 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. It’s defined as hearing sounds when there’s no noise present – it can be ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or swooshing sounds. Some hearing aids are equipped with tinnitus technology that help ease those symptoms by masking the sound. The technology is incredibly helpful for those who suffer with tinnitus, but it causes the hearing aid to work harder and drains the battery quicker.
Technology allows hearing aids to be multi-functional. Many digital models are now equipped with options like Bluetooth or noise-canceling and streaming capabilities. While these are very helpful, they can also cause a huge battery drain. Audiology Online found using the streaming mode of your hearing aids can nearly double the amount of battery use. So, the battery may end up only lasting a few hours, instead of a few days.
Signs You Need a New Battery
It’s easy to lose track of the last time you changed your battery and whether it’s time to change it again. If you aren’t hearing like normal, that’s a good sign your battery is dead or headed that way. But aside from marking it down on the calendar every time you change the battery out, there are a couple of other signs to look for before the battery completely runs out of juice.
If the sound in your hearing aid is distorted or you have to keep turning up the volume on your hearing aid more than normal, that’s a good sign your battery needs to be changed.
Most of the time, you will get an indication your battery is running low. You will hear a low-battery beep or a voice sound. Either indicates the battery will die soon and needs to be changed.
Ways to Make Your Batteries Last Longer
Keeping a good supply of batteries on hand is just a fact of life with hearing aids, but there are other things you can do to make the batteries last longer and not have to change them as often.
- When you take your hearing aids out before bed, make it a habit to remove the batteries. Taking them out when you aren’t using your hearing aids will lessen the power draw and help extend the battery life.
- If you don’t want to mess with putting batteries in and out every day, open the battery compartment when you aren’t using your hearing aid. That will help keep moisture from building up. Moisture will cause the battery to die quicker.
- If you aren’t wearing your hearing aids but have them with you, carry them in a sealed container. Allowing them to be loose in your pocket or purse can cause the batteries to short-circuit.
- Make sure to properly store any batteries you haven’t used yet. Keep them in a cool, dry place because moisture and heat can shorten their life.
- Don’t open the batteries until you need them. Keep them sealed in their package with the plastic tabs intact. Once you remove the tab, the battery activates and begins using energy.
- Look at the expiration date before you buy a pack of batteries. You don’t want to waste money on any that are about to expire.
- Experiment with different battery brands. It will help you decide which brand works best and longest with your particular make and model of hearing aid.
- Invest in a battery tester. It can tell you if the battery is dead or dying. More expensive battery testers can also indicate how much life is left in a battery.
- If you’re in the market for new hearing aids, consider buying a set that runs on rechargeable batteries. It’s a good option to keep from having to buy and replace batteries so often.