How Long Do Hearing Aid Batteries last- Ultimate Guide 2023
Hearing aids are vital for people with hearing loss but require batteries to function correctly. How long do hearing aids batteries last? The answer depends on the different types of hearing aid batteries, their sizes, and the factors that affect the lifespan. This article aims to provide informative content on how long do hearing aid batteries last, rechargeable and disposable batteries, sizes, factors affecting battery life, and maintenance tips to help people make the most out of their hearing aids.
Types of Hearing Aid Batteries
Hearing aids are essential devices that improve the quality of life for individuals with hearing loss. These devices are powered by batteries that come in two main types: rechargeable and disposable batteries. In this response, we will discuss the characteristics of each type of battery, their advantages, and disadvantages, and provide examples of commonly used models.
Rechargeable Hearing Aids Batteries
Rechargeable hearing aids are powered by rechargeable batteries that use electrochemistry to generate electricity. These batteries are usually made of lithium-ion or silver-zinc materials and are designed to be recharged and used multiple times.
Advantages of Rechargeable Batteries
1.Cost-effective: The batteries are more cost-effective in the long run than disposable batteries. While they may cost more upfront, rechargeable batteries can be reused many times, which saves money over time.
2. Environmentally friendly: Rechargeable batteries are more environmentally friendly than disposable batteries. When disposable batteries are thrown away, they can release harmful chemicals and pollutants into the environment. Rechargeable batteries can be used hundreds or thousands of times, reducing waste. Additionally, many rechargeable batteries are made with materials that are easier to recycle than those used in disposable batteries. Rechargeable batteries can reduce the environmental impact of battery production and disposal.
3. Convenient: For hearing aids with rechargeable batteries, you just need to recharge the aids using a adaptor. It may be different for senior to change the small batteries for their hearing aids, so rechargeable batteries are more convient.
Disadvantages of Rechargeable Hearing Aids
While rechargeable hearing aids have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages that should be considered. Here are some of the most common disadvantages of rechargeable hearing aids:
1. Cost: Rechargeable hearing aids are generally more expensive upfront compared to traditional hearing aids that use disposable batteries. This is because rechargeable hearing aids require additional components, such as a battery and charging station.
2. Charging time: Rechargeable hearing aids require time, which may not be as convenient as traditional hearing aids with disposable batteries. Depending on the type of rechargeable battery, the charging time may vary from several hours to overnight. If the battery runs out unexpectedly, users may need to wait until it is fully charged before they can use their hearing aids again.
3. Lifespan: While rechargeable batteries have a longer lifespan compared to disposable batteries, they still have a limited lifespan. Over time, the rechargeable battery may degrade and become less efficient, which can reduce the overall lifespan of the hearing aid. When the battery reaches the end of its lifespan, it may need to be replaced, which can be expensive.
Average Lifespan of Rechargeable Batteries
The lifespan of hearing aid rechargeable batteries can vary depending on the specific battery technology and usage habits. Rechargeable batteries typically use nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology.
NiMH batteries are older and have a shorter lifespan than Li-ion batteries. On average, NiMH batteries may last between 1 and 2 years before they need to be replaced. However, some NiMH batteries may last up to 3 years with proper care and maintenance.
Li-ion batteries are a newer technology with a longer lifespan than NiMH batteries. On average, Li-ion batteries may last between 2 and 3 years before they need to be replaced. Some Li-ion batteries may last up to 5 years with proper care and maintenance.
The lifespan of rechargeable batteries can also depend on usage habits. For example, if a hearing aid user wears their hearing aids for many hours a day or uses advanced features that consume more battery power, they may need to be replaced more frequently. Additionally, their lifespan may be shortened if the batteries are not charged and stored correctly.
To maximize the lifespan of rechargeable hearing aid batteries, following the manufacturer's recommendations for charging and storing the batteries is crucial. This may include avoiding overcharging the batteries, keeping the batteries at a moderate temperature, and avoiding extreme temperatures that can damage the batteries.
Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
Disposable hearing aid batteries have been popular for powering hearing aids for many years. These small and compact batteries make them easy to handle and replace. Here are five advantages of disposable hearing aid batteries:
1. Widely available: These batteries are widely available at many retail outlets, such as pharmacies, drugstores, and grocery stores. They are also available online, making it easy to purchase replacement batteries whenever needed. This means it is easy to find and purchase batteries for your hearing aids, even if you live in a remote area.
2. Long shelf life: Disposable batteries have a long shelf life, which means they can be stored for extended periods without losing their charge. Typically, these batteries can last up to two years if stored in a cool, dry place. This means you can stock up batteries and keep them on hand whenever you need them without worrying about them losing their charge.
3. Cost-effective: Disposable hearing aid batteries are inexpensive, especially in bulk. While replacing batteries can add up over time, disposable batteries are still a cost-effective solution for powering hearing aids compared to rechargeable hearing aids. Additionally, you can shop for the best price since they are widely available.
4. No charging required: Disposable batteries do not require charging. This makes them a convenient option for people on the go or who do not have access to a power source to recharge their hearing aids. All you need to do is swap out the old battery for a new one when it runs out of power.
Disadvantages of Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
Disposable hearing aid batteries are widely used to power hearing aids but have drawbacks. Here we will discuss the four main disadvantages of using disposable hearing aid batteries. By understanding these disadvantages, users can decide whether disposable hearing aid batteries are the best option.
1. Environmental impact: Disposable hearing aid batteries can have a significant environmental impact. They are typically made with heavy metals such as mercury, which can harm the environment if not disposed of properly. It is essential to dispose of these batteries correctly, either by recycling them or bringing them to a designated hazardous waste disposal facility.
2. Inconsistent performance: Disposable hearing aid batteries can sometimes have inconsistent performance. This is because the battery's voltage decreases gradually over time, and it can be difficult to predict when it will run out of power. As the battery voltage drops, the hearing aid may start to sound weaker, making it difficult to hear properly. This means that users may need to replace the battery more frequently than they expect.
3. Inconvenience: Swapping out disposable hearing aid batteries can be inconvenient, especially for people with dexterity or other physical impairments. Handling the small batteries and removing the old ones can be challenging without accidentally dropping or losing them. Additionally, users may need spare batteries, which can be cumbersome and take up space.
4. Cost: While disposable hearing aid batteries are relatively inexpensive, the cost can add up over time, especially for users who need to replace batteries frequently. This can be a significant expense for people on a tight budget. Additionally, the cost of disposable batteries can vary depending on the brand and type of battery, so users may need to shop around to find the best value.
Average Lifespan of Hearing Aid Disposable Batteries
The average lifespan of disposable hearing aid batteries can vary depending on several factors, including the type and brand, the size and power requirements of the hearing aid, and the user's listening habits. Generally, disposable hearing aid batteries last between 5 and 14 days, but some can last up to a month with minimal use.
The most common disposable hearing aid batteries are zinc-air batteries, which use air to activate the battery and provide power to the hearing aid. These batteries typically have a shelf life of 2-3 years if stored properly, but their lifespan can vary once they are in use.
The lifespan of a hearing aid battery is primarily determined by the amount of current it produces, measured in milliamp hours (mAh). The higher the mAh rating of the battery, the longer it will last. However, higher-powered hearing aids require more current to function, which can reduce the battery's lifespan.
It is essential for hearing aid users to monitor the battery life of their hearing aids closely to ensure they do not run out of power unexpectedly. Many hearing aids have low-battery warning signals that indicate when the battery is getting low and needs to be replaced. It is always recommended to carry spare batteries to avoid being caught without power.
Sizes of Hearing Aid Batteries
Hearing aid batteries come in several sizes, each designed to fit specific types of hearing aids. A color-coded system identifies the most common sizes of hearing aid batteries:
- Size 10 (Yellow): This is the smallest size of hearing aid battery, typically used in completely-in-canal (CIC) and invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids. They have a diameter of 5.8mm and a height of 3.6mm.
- Size 312 (Brown): This size of hearing aid battery is slightly larger than size ten and is used in in-the-canal (ITC) and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids. They have a diameter of 7.9mm and a height of 3.6mm.
- Size 13 (Orange): This size of hearing aid battery is used in behind-the-ear (BTE) and receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids. The diameter is 7.9mm and height is 5.4mm.
- Size 675 (Blue): This is the largest hearing aid battery typically used in high-powered BTE hearing aids. They have a diameter of 11.6mm and a height of 5.4mm.
Factors Affecting Hearing Aid Batteries Life
The lifespan of hearing aid batteries can vary depending on several factors that affect their overall performance. Here are -the main factors that can affect the lifespan of hearing aid batteries.
The size of the battery is an essential factor that affects the lifespan of hearing aid batteries. Smaller batteries, such as size 10, have less power capacity than larger batteries, such as size 13 or 675. Consequently, smaller batteries may need to be replaced more frequently than larger ones.
The chemistry of the battery can also affect its lifespan. Zinc-air batteries are the most common type of hearing aid battery, and the chemical reaction between zinc and oxygen influences their lifespan. Once the battery's tab is removed, oxygen enters the battery and activates the zinc, generating power. The size of the battery and the power demand of the hearing aid affect the speed at which this chemical reaction occurs. Typically, zinc-air batteries last between 5-14 days, depending on the size and power requirements of the hearing aid.
Temperature and humidity can affect the performance of hearing aid batteries. High temperatures can cause batteries to lose their charge more quickly, while high humidity can cause moisture to enter the battery, causing damage to the internal components. Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place and not exposed to extreme temperatures or moisture.
How often the hearing aid is used and at what volume can also affect battery lifespan. Frequent or high-volume use can use more battery power and shorten the battery's lifespan. It is essential to ensure that the hearing aid is turned off when not in use and the battery is removed when the device will not be used for a while.
Hearing Aid Features
Advanced hearing aids that include features such as wireless connectivity or noise reduction can drain batteries faster than basic models. Advanced features require more power to operate, which can reduce the battery's lifespan.
Brand and Quality
The brand and quality of the battery can also affect its lifespan. High-quality batteries may last longer than cheaper or lower-quality batteries. In addition, some manufacturers have a better reputation than others for producing reliable batteries.
How to Prolong the Life of Hearing Aid Batteries
Hearing aids batteries can be costly and inconvenient to replace frequently. To avoid frequent battery replacements and save money, it's essential to know how to prolong the life of your hearing aid batteries. Here are some of the ways to help extend the lifespan of your hearing aid batteries:
- Turn off your hearing aids when not in use: Hearing aids are designed to conserve battery life, but turning them off when not in use can still make a big difference. This is especially important at night when you are not using them. If you forget to turn them off, some hearing aids have a sleep mode that can help conserve battery life.
- Store your batteries properly: Storing them in a cool, dry place can help prevent moisture buildup and extend their lifespan. This means avoiding storing them in the bathroom or other areas with high humidity. You should also avoid storing them in extreme temperatures, such as in your car or near a heater, as this can affect their performance.
- Remove the tab from your battery before use: Zinc-air batteries used in hearing aids are activated when air enters the battery. Removing the tab allows air to enter and activate the battery. It is essential to wait one minute after removing the tab before inserting the battery into the hearing aid to allow it to reach full power.
- Keep hearing aids clean: Dirty hearing aids can drain batteries more quickly. Regularly cleaning your hearing aids and changing the wax guards or filters can prevent blockages that reduce sound quality and increase battery usage.
Common Issues With Hearing Aid Batteries
Hearing aid batteries can experience various problems affecting their performance and lifespan. Here are some more details about common issues that can arise with hearing aid batteries:
- Short battery life: Several factors can cause a hearing aid battery to have a short life span. These include:
- Exposure to high temperatures or humidity
- Leaving the battery in the hearing aid when not in use
- Incorrect storage of batteries
- Using expired batteries
To improve battery life, users can:
- Keep batteries in a cool, dry place
- Remove batteries when not in use
- Purchase fresh batteries
- Reduce the usage of the hearing aid volume
- Inconsistent power output: Hearing aid batteries can provide inconsistent power output due to various reasons, such as:
- A low battery
- Battery contact issues
- Worn out batteries
To resolve this issue, users can:
- Check the battery level
- Clean the battery contacts
- Replace the battery
- Difficulty in inserting or removing batteries: Some users may experience difficulties in inserting or removing batteries due to several factors, such as:
- Weak grip strength
- Lack of dexterity
- Vision problems
- Issues with the hearing aid's battery compartment
To address this issue, users can:
- Use tools or accessories that make it easier to insert and remove batteries
- Practice using the hearing aid battery compartment
- Ask for assistance from a family member or a professional
Hearing Aid Battery Safety
Hearing aid batteries can be dangerous if swallowed or come into contact with skin or eyes. Therefore, it's crucial to handle and dispose of them correctly. Some tips for handling hearing aid batteries safely include:
- Keep batteries away from children.
- Do not place batteries in the mouth or swallow them.
- Use gloves when handling hearing aid batteries to prevent skin irritation.
- If a hearing aid battery is swallowed, seek immediate medical attention.
- Do not dispose of hearing aid batteries in the trash. Instead, recycle them.
Understanding the different types of hearing aid batteries, their sizes, factors affecting their lifespan, and maintenance tips are crucial to ensure hearing aids function correctly. Choosing the appropriate battery type and size and taking steps to prolong their lifespan can help users save money and avoid the frustration of frequent battery replacement. If you're considering purchasing a hearing aid, we advise you to choose a rechargeable one. While they are more expensive upfront, rechargeable batteries are more cost-effective as they last longer and do not require frequent replacement.