Hearing aids are amazing. As technology improves, they become more and more sophisticated and less and less hands-on. One of the things that hasn’t changed, though and remains “hands-on” is changing the battery. The battery is a necessary evil. It can be a nuisance to have to change, but there are a couple of things you can do to prolong the life of your battery and improve your listening experience at the same time.
Finding a hearing aid battery that you can trust is key. There are many different brands but some will last longer than others. If you have a battery brand that you use for other areas of your life, look for this battery for your hearing aid as well. It’s likely that if you use Energizer, Rayovac or Duracell batteries successfully in your household tools, you’ll find that these brands work well in your hearing aids as well. If you don’t know which brand to trust, ask your hearing healthcare provider. Often, they will be able to provide guidance or, even better, you can get your batteries straight from them. In many cases, providers will purchase batteries directly from the manufacturer, making their batteries much fresher than what you might find on your local drug store shelf.
Freshness of the battery is important. If the batteries have been sitting on the shelf for a long time, they may not perform well. This can cause all sorts of issues in your hearing aid including fluctuations in sound, a steady decrease in volume over time, or strange circuit noises. There’s nothing more frustrating than having your hearing aid malfunction. Being able to depend on your hearing aid batteries makes it that much easier to wear your hearing aids with confidence.
If you are concerned about the freshness of your batteries, take a look at the box. On the outside of the box will be an expiration date. Generally speaking, hearing aid batteries have a three-year shelf life. This means that from the time they are produced, they can sit in the box dormant (non-functioning) without losing any strength. So, when you purchase your hearing aid batteries, look for a box with a date the furthest out: a February 2014 date is better than a September 2013 date, for example.
So, how long do hearing aid batteries generally last?
The life expectancy of your hearing aid battery really depends on the type of hearing aid you have and how long you wear them each day. In general, the smaller the hearing aid, the smaller the battery. The smaller the battery, the shorter the life expectancy of that battery. And, it depends on the circuitry in the hearing aid, too. Some hearing aids are constantly working to improve the sound quality and reduce noise. These “automatic” hearing aids generally require more battery power. You’ll find that with this type of hearing aid, the battery life can fluctuate.
For example, if you have a week that is relatively quiet – you’re at home most of the time and not around a lot of noise, your hearing aid batteries may last longer than a week that is very active in terms of listening environments. The more active you are, the more power your hearing aid may need in order to perform all of its sound cleaning and restoration functions. If you are curious how long your hearing aid batteries should last, ask your hearing healthcare provider. They will be able to calculate the life expectancy of the batteries used in your particular hearing aid. Knowing what to expect from your hearing aid will allow you to plan accordingly and hear with confidence.