Everything You Ever Needed to Know about Zinc Air Hearing Aid Batteries
The battery is a critical but often forgotten part of every hearing aid, providing the power to the device. This article provides you with some information on how to get the best performance from your RAYOVAC® batteries.
How hearing aid batteries work?
The most common type of hearing aid batteries on the market today uses zinc air technology which means air from the atmosphere is the active ingredient. Once the tab is removed, the battery's tiny holes become visible; these holes are what allow air to enter and power the battery.
Air up time
After the tab is removed, allow the battery sit for 1 minute un-tabbed before inserting the battery into the device. Why? The reason to let it sit is because the air needs time to get into the battery. Immediately removing the tab and inserting the battery into the hearing aid limits its exposure to air. This could cause the battery to seem “dead” because the voltage could not reach the necessary level to power the device. If this happens allow air to enter the cell and increase the voltage. After one minute, replace the battery in the device.
Fresh is best
Like all batteries, zinc air hearing aid batteries will slowly lose charge over time (less than 10% per year with a tab). To get the most out of your batteries, you should purchase them frequently. The fresher they are the better they perform. To determine the expiration date, consult the four-digit date code on the back of the package.
While it says 1.45 volts on the battery package, a tabbed voltage will measure 1.1 - 1.3 volts. After detabbing, voltage will increase sufficiently to power a hearing aid. The maximum voltage of the cell may take several hours to reach 1.45 volts.
It is common for people to ask how long their hearing aid battery will last. In a market survey, device users were asked about the battery life of their hearing aids. The ranges of results are presented below, illustrating that life expectancy ranges can vary greatly.
Size 10: 3 - 10 days
Size 312: 3 - 12 days
Size 13: 6 - 14 days
Size 675: 9 - 20 days
There is no one solution that will work for all hearing aid users. The best way to understand the battery life is for an individual to benchmark their battery performance over time.
There are two main variables that affect the battery life of a hearing aid:
- Individual hearing impairment: As severity increases, more amplification is required, resulting in a higher current and a shorter battery life.
- Sound environment: The ambient noise can reduce battery life. A battery will drain more quickly in a restaurant or rock concert than in a library. Also, if the volume is "maxed out" on your hearing aid, the battery will be depleted prematurely.
Hearing Aid Battery FAQs
What is the shelf life of batteries?
The standard battery shelf life is four years from the date of manufacture.
How can I recycle old batteries?
According to the European Battery Directive, all batteries must be recycled, and many recycling centers have been set up in local stores, offices, municipal buildings, schools, and other public places.
How should I store my batteries?
a. Store your hearing aid batteries at room temperature.
b. Avoid storage in hot places, as this shortens the life span.
c. They should not be stored in the refrigerator.
Metal objects can cause a battery to short out, leak, or rupture, so batteries should be kept in their supplied dial packs.
How often should I change my battery?
Once you become familiar with your hearing aid and batteries, you can determine which system works best for you. Carry spare batteries at all times.
Does the type of hearing aid make a difference?
The more advanced the aid is, the more power is required. Features in today’s digital instruments like wireless streaming, Bluetooth connection and noise cancellation all require high current to function.
What about the natural environment?
a. Dryness: As humidity decreases, batteries may dry out, shortening their lifespan.
b. Temperature: As the temperature decreases, hearing aid battery voltage decreases, resulting in a shorter battery life.
c. High Humidity: As humidity increases, batteries may take on moisture, interfering with the natural discharge expansion.
d. Altitude: As altitude increases, the percentage of oxygen in the air is reduced. This can cause the battery to reach its endpoint earlier.