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Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aid Batteries

Your hearing aids require a steady power supply in order to work properly. Even subtle changes in power output can affect performance, clarity, and volume control. Different hearing aids require different types sizes of batteries — based on the size and power requirements of the hearing aid — to work properly. There are many variables that determine how long your battery will power your hearing aids.

A standard “zinc-air” battery lasts anywhere from three to 22 days, depending upon the type of hearing aid, the capacity of the battery, the degree of hearing loss, and the amount of hearing aid use throughout each day. The smallest hearing aid batteries, used for 12 to 16 hours per day, may need to be changed every three or four days, while the largest hearing aid batteries used for only a couple hours each day may go several weeks without needing to be changed.

Hearing aid batteries are air-activated. Newer, mercury-free batteries need time to activate prior to being inserted into a hearing aid. If you have Mercury-Free batteries, allow them to sit for 3-5 full minutes prior to inserting them into your hearing aid to allow for the maximum battery life.

To minimize battery drain, turn off the hearing aid when it’s not in use. Most hearing aids are turned off by opening the battery door which is also, a good way to dry out accumulated moisture. But if the hearing aids won’t be used for an extended period of time (a few days for instance), removing the battery entirely is the best method.

When storing batteries, keep them at normal room temperature. Do not refrigerate. Prior to changing batteries, wash your hands thoroughly to remove grease and dirt, which may drain the battery more quickly or dirty the inside of your hearing aid. When the battery dies, it should be removed immediately. A completely discharged battery may corrode and swell and become difficult to remove from the small device.

How Do I Change My Batteries?

There are a few ways to know when to change the batteries. Some hearing aids will emit a small beeping sound when the battery is low, while some will speak to the user, stating that a change of batteries is needed. Hearing aids that don’t emit warnings typically worsen in sound quality, become distorted, or simply die altogether. The hearing aids may become weaker before the batteries die — an indication that it’s time to change them.

Note: If a change of batteries does not alleviate this problem, the device should be looked at by your audiologist.

Changing Battery in an Over-the-Ear Hearing Aid


Changing Battery in an In-the-Ear Hearing Aid


To insert or replace batteries:

  1. Open battery door using the nail grip.
  2. Remove old battery.
  3. Remove new battery from package, and pull protective tab from battery. If battery is mercury-free, let the battery rest for 5 minutes before placing battery into compartment.
  4. Align “+” sign on flat side of battery with “+” sign on battery door.
  5. Place battery into the battery door.
  6. When battery is secure, close door.
  7. Do not force battery door to close.

Different Types of Batteries

There are four main sizes of batteries, each with a specific color-coded package: size 10 (yellow), size 13 (orange), size 312 (brown), and size 675 (blue). The battery size you need is typically based on the size and style of your hearing aid.

Standard hearing aid batteries are zinc-air, which are activated when exposed to air. It is very important to keep them sealed in their packages prior to use. Never allow two batteries to touch each other or they will discharge. Never open packages to move batteries to a single container. Keep the packages sealed until the batteries must be used in the hearing aids, or you may end up with a dead battery. Don’t buy batteries if the seal is broken.

Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries

For the environmentally conscious consumer, rechargeable batteries are available. 95 percent of the silver and zinc used in these batteries can be recycled to make brand-new batteries, with no loss of quality. The batteries are water based, so they are chemically safer and can safely travel with you in environments with atmospheric changes (like airplanes) while maintaining stability. Each battery has an expected life span of up to six months. The cost of these batteries is approximately the same as standard zinc-air batteries – plus the cost of the charger.

Battery Tips:

  1. Once the tab is removed from the Mercury-free battery, it takes approximately 5 minutes before the battery is activated and the battery compartment can be closed.
  2. Do not force the battery door shut, as it may result in damage to the hearing aid or a broken battery compartment. If the door does not close easily, check to see if the battery is correctly inserted.
  3. Do not force the battery door open too far, as it may result in damage.
  4. Dispose of used batteries in a safe place or take them to a recycling or hazardous waste center to dispose of them properly.
  5. Do not throw batteries into a burn pile as they will explode.
  6. Batteries can harm children or pets if ingested. (See below)
  7. Use of a stick magnet may be helpful in handling the batteries.

Frequently Asked Questions

All batteries are toxic if swallowed. There have been deaths from swallowing button batteries. Keep away from children or at-risk adults. If swallowed, see your physician. I you suspect a person or pet who has swallowed a battery, call the National Button Battery Hotline 1-800-222-1222.

Depending upon hearing aid style and use, total battery cost may be as little as $40 per year, or as much as $150 per year. At Eastside Audiology & Hearing Services, included with the purchase of most AGX models of hearing aids, batteries are free for three years, so you may not actually have to pay for them. If you do need to purchase them, the cost is significantly less at Eastside Audiology & Hearing Services than most pharmacies or grocery stores.

How often you change your hearing aid batteries will depend on several things: the style of hearing aid you use, the degree of your hearing loss, and how often you use it. Many of the smaller units — the invisible units, for instance — require smaller batteries that have less power. Using these units for most hours of the day might yield only three to four days of use per set of batteries.

Batteries for larger styles, however, like behind-the-ear units, can last for weeks if used for only a handful of hours each day. Wearers of these units can typically expect their batteries to last for five to ten days if used regularly.

If stored in a cool (not cold) dry location, the shelf life of a hearing aid battery is approximately 3 years. An expiration date is printed on each package, so check before you purchase.