April 30, 2013

Hearing Aid Batteries – A Review

Parker,-Molly-NEWBy Dr. Molly Parker
Parker Audiology, PC

Hearing aid batteries have a long history. Decades ago, they contained silver. Then they changed and contained a fair amount of mercury. When Zinc Air batteries were developed, shelf life improved significantly. However, there was still some mercury inside. In January of 2011, hearing aid
batteries became 100 percent mercury free. Since then, some people have noticed some changes in their battery performance for their hearing aids. Unfairly, they have blamed the hearing aid manufacturer. In reality, it may be the battery itself, due to the new federal regulations that mandate
mercury free batteries.

Here is a suggestion to get more life out of your battery. When taking the battery out of the package, please remove the sticker and wait at least two minutes before putting it into your hearing aids and closing the battery door. This ensures that the battery is fully activated; otherwise the battery will not last nearly as long. Despite best practices, I have observed new mercury-free batteries are more variable.

Zinc Air batteries come with paper stickers, which maintain their long shelf life. Once you remove the paper sticker, a chemical reaction starts, and you cannot reapply the paper sticker to “save” the battery life. If you do not use the battery, it will be dead in a few weeks even if you do not use the battery. Rechargeable options are available (at additional expense) from some hearing aid companies, but historically they have been somewhat unreliable.

Here is some additional information about hearing aid batteries: Hearing aid batteries come in four sizes. The size affects the length of battery life. A smaller hearing aid requires a smaller size of battery. Batteries are sized by color. A chart is listed below:

Size Color Length
10 Yellow 2-3 days
312 Brown 5-7 days
13 Orange 10-12 days
675 Blue 12-16 days