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Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aid Batteries

Time to Read: 6 minutes

  • Why do zinc air hearing aid batteries have a tab?
  • What are the battery hazards?
  • How long is the zinc air battery's shelf life?
  • How should hearing aid batteries be stored?
  • The real reasons you're getting a short run time

Why Do Zinc Air Hearing Aid Batteries Have a Tab?hearing-aid-batteries

Zinc Air hearing aid batteries use air as an energy source, and the tab seals the air holes on the battery. Once the tab is removed, it takes approximately two minutes before the hearing aid battery is activated/charged, however, it was recently discovered that 5 Minutes was the optimal time to allow a Zinc Air Hearing Aid battery to "breathe". At that point, the battery compartment can be closed. If not activated correctly the battery can in the worst case be damaged and will not come back to normal voltage level needed!

Please remember not to remove the tab before the hearing aid battery is to be used. Reattaching the tab will not prolong the running time of the battery.

What are the Battery Hazards?

In Australia, two children have died from button battery-related injuries. Each week, an estimated 20 children visit an emergency department for removal or treatment of a swallowed or inserted button battery.  If a battery is accidentally swallowed, the battery can lodge in the oesophagus and burn a hole in its lining.  This is can be a hazard both to children and pets.

If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 or go to a hospital emergency room. Do not let the child eat or drink and do not induce vomiting ("The Battery Controlled – Button battery safety", 2014).

How Long is the Zinc Air Battery’s Shelf Life?

Hearing aid batteries have a minimum “shelf‐life” of two years. However, this estimate cannot be guaranteed if the batteries were previously stored incorrectly.

Where is the best place to purchase hearing aid batteries?
We strongly recommend that you purchase your batteries from a hearing aid clinic.  You can also purchase batteries online https://valuehearing.com.au/shop/, however we recommend that you stick with the popular brands (e.g. Powerone).
We don’t normally recommend batteries from the chemist or grocery store as these batteries do not last as long (e.g. Energizer, Duracell).  Only purchase if it is for emergency purposes.

How Should Hearing Aid Batteries Be Stored?

Optimal room storage temperature for storing hearing aid batteries is between 10 and 25°C. Heat may shorten the running time and a humid environment is not suitable for storage. Finally, avoid storing hearing aid batteries in the refrigerator.  If they have been stored in the refrigerator, it is best to dispose of the batteries as they are likely to be damaged.

Contact with metal objects such as keys or coins can cause a hearing aid battery to short‐circuit, therefore it is recommended to never carry individual batteries loose in a purse, wallet or handbag.

How long is the running time of a hearing aid battery?
The running time of the hearing aid battery depends on the hours of use per day, the amplification and type/features of the hearing aid being used.  Bluetooth streaming has a direct influence on the running time of a battery due to the high current the hearing aids daw in this mode. As the streaming mode is activated automatically, running time of batteries will vary depending on how often and how long streaming is active over the day.

Statistics Show That, in Most of the Cases, the Reasons for a Short Running Time are not Necessarily Production Faults, but Rather:

  • Environmental influences (e.g. humidity, temperature).
  • Personal hearing habits have changed (longer period of use per day, higher noise level, new features of the hearing aid are being used).
  • The hearing aid was in use longer than usual (e.g. night at the theatre).
  • The hearing aid is new, or the type or brand of the hearing aid has changed.
  • The new hearing aid has additional features that require more energy, for example streaming.

Improper Handling Can Also Reduce the Running Time of the Hearing Aid Battery

  • The battery tab is removed and activation period was too short. It has to be 2 Min or more, before it is inserted into the hearing aid.
  • The hearing aid is not switched off over night or after a long period of non‐use.
  • The battery loses capacity due to a short circuit when mishandled (e.g. through contact with metal objects).
  • The battery is stored in a warm environment (e.g. in a parked car in the sun).

 

Reference:

Frequently asked Questions Standard Zinc Air and Mercury Free Zinc Air Hearing Aid Batteries. (2014). Phonak. Retrieved 18 January 2017, from https://www.phonak.com....

The Battery Controlled – Button battery safety. (2014). Product Safety Australia. Retrieved 18 January 2017, from http://www.productsafety.gov.au/news/the-battery-controlled-button-battery-safety