Once you’ve purchased your hearing aids, there are a few accessories that keep them operating properly and in the best condition. In addition to a case to carry them in and tools to help keep them clean, batteries are an essential purchase for every hearing aid wearer.
Two main types of hearing aid batteries
Oticon Opn rechargeable hearing aids
Rechargeable hearing aids can be docked
overnight. (Image courtesy Oticon.)
Many newer hearing aid models come with rechargeable batteries. These batteries are usually recharged at night, when a hearing aid wearer takes out their hearing aids to sleep. So far, rechargeable batteries are generally only available for behind-the-ear styles of hearing aids.
Standard disposable batteries
Zinc-air button disposable batteries, also known as “button batteries,” are the other common option. Because zinc-air batteries are air-activated, a factory-sealed sticker allows them to remain inactive until it is removed. Once peeled from the back of the battery, oxygen will interact with the zinc in the battery and “turn it on.” To get the best performance from a zinc-air battery, wait about one minute after removing the sticker to fully activate before placing it in the hearing device. Replacing the sticker will not deactivate the battery, so once the sticker is removed, the battery will remain in an active state until the power is drained.
Zinc-air batteries remain stable for up to three years when stored in a room temperature, dry environment. Storing zinc-air batteries in the refrigerator has no benefits and could cause condensation to form under the sticker, which could reduce battery life prematurely. Traditionally hearing aid batteries were produced using trace amounts of mercury to assist with conductivity and stabilize internal components, but mercury is no longer used in hearing aid batteries.
Hearing aid battery facts and tips
(Key: BTE=behind the ear, ITE=in the ear, RITE=receiver in the ear; ITC=in the canal; CIC=completely in the canal.)