Your Hearing Aid and Zinc Air Batteries – What you need to know!

August 7th, 2018

Hearing aids are powered by Zinc Air batteries. Read on to get the most out of your batteries:

What is Zinc Air Technology?

Zinc air technology uses air from the atmosphere as an active ingredient. This technology is only used in hearing aid battery applications. By using air as an ingredient there are many unique aspects that are different from other types of batteries. Removing the battery tab/sticker activates the battery as air enters through the holes. After the tab is removed, the battery needs a moment to catch its breath – Let the battery sit for one minute before inserting into the device. Oxygen from the atmosphere and zinc metal in the battery react to provide energy to drive the hearing aid. It is best to use the battery immediately after activation. Battery performance is sensitive to environment temperature and humidity.

How long will a battery last?

The shelf life of a packet of batteries is approximately two years – see the expiration date on the package. Each person is unique when it comes to their hearing loss, personal environment and hearing aid usage. Each patient’s situation is unique to them; therefore, no one patient will have the exact battery life as another. The battery life expectancy ranges vary greatly and are as follows according to battery size:

10 (yellow): 3‐10 days

312 (brown): 3‐12 days

13 (orange): 6‐14 days

675 (blue): 9‐20 days

Factors affecting battery life

There are numerous factors that can affect how long a hearing aid battery lasts:

  • An individual’s hearing loss – the more severe the hearing loss, the more battery power is needed.
  • The battery size – The smaller the hearing aid, the smaller the battery is. A smaller battery has a shorter life span.
  • An individual’s hearing aid usage – The amount of hours a person uses the hearing aid will determine how often they need to change the battery.
  • Instrument differences – Hearing aid technology is advancing leading to more features and accessories. This leads to more demanding battery usage and fewer hours of battery life. Wireless streaming (to a cell phone or TV, for example) will shorten the battery life.
  • Environment – Zinc air batteries are sensitive to environmental conditions.  These include:
  • Humidity – High levels of humidity can affect battery life as well as cause corrosion of the battery.
  • Temperature – As the temperature drops, battery life decreases. This can be an issue if individuals are working outside in the winter or in a refrigerated environment. Heat can also shorten battery life. The optimal temperature for storage is between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius.
  • Altitude – As altitude increases, the percentage of oxygen in the air is reduced, potentially reducing battery life.

How to get the most out of your hearing aid batteries:

  • Switch the hearing aid off when not in use.
  • Store your hearing aid batteries at room temperature.
  • Avoid temperature extremes, as heat will shorten the life of the batteries, and refrigeration is not recommended.
  • Metal objects such as coins and keys can shorten battery life, so don’t carry loose batteries in your pocket or purse.
  • If possible, store in the original packaging or a battery caddie and don’t allow batteries to touch in storage (store separately).
  • Always be sure to store and discard batteries in places that cannot be reached by infants, children or pets.
  • Zinc Air batteries are classified as non-hazardous waste. However, it is recommended to take the batteries to a common local collecting point for batteries (some grocery stores) to make sure they can be recycled. You can also submit your used batteries for recycling at one of our branches.
  • Battery testers are not an accurate way of testing batteries – test the battery using the hearing aid.
  • Use high quality batteries from a reputable hearing aid battery brand.

Some hearing aids are now able to function using rechargeable batteries! Come and visit us to ask your Audiologist about this option.

Trouble‐shooting hearing aid battery issues – please refer to the link below for a handy trouble shooting reference.

https://www.audiologyonline.com/files/event/23100/23184/aquickreferenceforhearingaidbatterytroubleshooting.pdf

Reference: www.audiologyonline.com

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