May is Better Hearing Month and to celebrate we’re giving away a different prize each week!
Week 1 is a year supply of hearing aid batteries. Call us today for your chance to win!*
Oh, the lowly hearing aid battery. Seemingly the least important component of a hearing aid system, it is the one part that continually frustrates all of us! With the advent of wireless hearing aid streaming and ear-to-ear hearing aid communication, battery life and reliability are now more important than ever!
The most common zinc-air battery has been available for years, and the most typical 312 battery lasts six or seven days in most hearing aids. Wireless capability has reduced battery life slightly, but not as much as one might think.
There is a remarkable difference between hearing aid brands; furthermore, hearing aid brands don’t all work the same with different battery brands. In other words, the battery that worked so well for your last pair of aids might not be so efficient with your new set! Among the most popular brands (Rayovac, Energizer, Duracell, and the perennial Vibrant favorite Power One), there is an ever-so-slight difference in battery size and voltage output. This slight difference, depending on the hearing aid, can lead to short battery life and false alarms.
Here are a few standards of use as well as some tips that will help your batteries last as long as possible:
- Make sure they are fresh! Most batteries have a three-year shelf life — if they are beyond their second year, ask your audiologist if she will trade you for some fresh ones. Audiologists keep a LOT of batteries in their labs and will use them right up!
- When you take off that little sticker, WAIT at least two very patient minutes. Letting the batteries completely activate will make a huge difference!
- Avoid extreme temperatures — mostly the cold ones! Extreme cold is tough on batteries, and they don’t behave well after exposure! If your hearing aids are acting a little wonky after time spent in the cold, go ahead and change the batteries and all should return to normal.
- Leave those stickers on until you’re ready to use them! Virtually all disposable hearing aid batteries are activated when you take off the sticker. Once the battery is activated, it won’t last long. Leave ’em in the package until it’s time!
- Seems like every pack has one dud. Toss it, and try again. However, it is extraordinarily unlikely that there will be TWO duds in a row in a single pack. If your hearing aid doesn’t work on the second try, call the audiologist; the problem is not the battery.
And a few more thoughts on why those batteries seem to have taken an early leave:
- Moisture, from perspiration to high humidity to accidental dunkings. Excessive moisture will either clog the little air vents in the battery or cause excessive swelling of the chemicals in the battery, reducing the life or interrupting the voltage.
- Many modern hearing aids are amazing, but they might also use voltage-draining circuits such as multi-channel processing and noise-reduction technology.
- Accessories. Most new hearing aids are capable of connecting to other devices with an FM signal or Bluetooth®. The addition of these streaming capabilities is a real drain on battery life.
- Altitude has the greatest effect on batteries if they are near the end of their life. Be sure to put in fresh batteries before you fly!
- False alarms! If your hearing aids have a “low battery” indicator, you are more likely to get a false warning. The best way to understand how long YOUR batteries should last is to keep track for a month or so. Each time you change the battery, indicate it on your calendar, whether it’s just a little mark or the sticker from the battery. Because the voltage sometimes dips, the hearing aid might think the battery is low when, in fact, it is perfectly fine. If this happens too often, ask your provider to disable the battery warning.
*Entries accepted between May 1-5, 2017. Open to Montana residents only.