How can you make your hearing aid batteries last longer? Here are a few tips and tricks.
Ever notice how hearing aid batteries seem to die just when you need them the most? Hearing aid batteries can drain faster depending on how often you use them, whether you use them for streaming or constant noise (such as for tinnitus treatments) or if you live at a high elevation.
In theory, a typical hearing aid battery could get over 100 hours. But in the real world, you can get anywhere from 3-22 days out of a battery depending on whether you use advanced functions that take more energy or follow certain maintenance methods and precautions that impact battery life.
Some of this extra battery drain is completely worth it. When you’re celebrating your birthday with the family in a noisy restaurant, you want to be able to hear every word. Isn’t that worth an extra 10 cents?
But in other cases, you may be draining your batteries for no reason unaware that it’s even happening. It’s important to have a little background on your hearing aid batteries so you can understand what they’re capable of and what causes them to die a little faster on you.
How Long Do 312 Batteries Last vs Other Hearing Aid Batteries?
There are multiple hearing aid battery types, and you need to make sure you have the correct one for your hearing aid. Hearing aid batteries are not interchangeable. To make this easier, they color-code the batteries. All you need to do is confirm with your hearing specialist which battery is right for your hearing aid.
Here are the most common types of hearing aids and how long they typically last:
- Size 10 (yellow): This battery usually lasts 3 to 7 days
- Size 312 (brown): These common batteries can last a little longer and average 3 to 10 days
- Size 13 (orange): Size 13 hearing aid batteries can last between 6 to 14 days
- Size 675 (blue): Size 675 hearing aid batteries average 9 to 20 days
312 batteries are a very common size of hearing aid battery. Depending on your usage, you may get between around 110 hours of usage.
Note that the life of your hearing aid battery can depend on a number of factors, including:
- your level of hearing loss
- how many hours a day you wear them
- whether you stream music or calls to them constantly
- whether you use advanced features
- the age of the batteries when you pop them in your hearing aids
- the environment
For whatever size battery you use, though, there are certain habits you should avoid to make your hearing aid batteries last longer, as well as little tricks you can do to get a little bit more juice out of them. Here are 13 secrets to help you make your hearing aid batteries last longer.
1. Be Careful About Buying Hearing Aid Batteries in Bulk
Buying your hearing aids in bulk seems like the obvious way to save money. If you have a membership at Sam’s, Costco or another discount warehouse store, you can buy a 6 month supply. But hearing aid batteries, like all batteries, slowly lose their charge even while unopened.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy in bulk if you can. But don’t buy too much at once and to get the most battery life for your money, wear both hearing aids for at least 8 hours a day to get your money’s worth.
2. Buy the Newest Pack of Hearing Aid Batteries You Can Find
In line with number 1, always look for the newest pack when buying hearing aid batteries. If you buy them online, make sure you know the expiration date. Selling outdated products online is a very common tactic retailers use to get rid of old inventory.
It’s at a bargain price for a reason.
3. Use Up Older Hearing Aid Batteries First
Even if you use a zinc hearing aid battery, you should still be aware that batteries lose their juice over time. Unlike Twinkies, batteries have a shelf life, which is why you should use up older batteries first. Take stock of your battery collection and make notes of their expiration dates, then work from oldest to newest. While they may not last as long as newer batteries, you’re actually getting more life out of your hearing aid batteries when you always use the oldest ones first.
4. Once Opened, Use Them
Modern hearing aid batteries are powered using zinc. The zinc sits dormant until activated so energy loss is minimal. But once you remove the tab, you activate the zinc and the proverbial clock starts ticking. At this point the battery begins to drain, even when not in use.
Have you ever popped a new battery in and then stopped using your hearing aids for a couple weeks? If you did, you’d probably come back to a nearly dead battery. Only wearing your hearing aids when you think you need them, doesn’t really save that much battery. Saving battery life by restricting time worn is a hearing aid myth.
To get more out of your batteries, wear your hearing aid batteries throughout the day every day.
5. Wait Five Minutes Before Installing Them in Your Hearing Aids, Get 3 More Days
It’s so tempting to pop a battery out of the package and insert it. You want to get your hearing back as quickly as possible. But allowing the zinc about 5 minutes to activate after removing the tab before inserting it can give you as many as 3 more days on that hearing aid battery life. That’s huge!
6. Don’t Freeze Your Hearing Aid Batteries
You may have learned as a young adult to put batteries into the refrigerator or even the freezer to reduce the loss of energy before usage. But this actually has the opposite effect on zinc batteries. Keep them in a drawer in your bedroom instead.
7. Open Up the Door to Your Hearing Aid
Moisture speeds up battery drain. Get into a habit of opening the battery door and leaving it open when not in use. This reduces trapped moisture and extends battery life significantly.
8. Don’t Store Them in Humid Places
A drawer in your bedroom is the perfect place to store batteries because it’s one of the driest places in most homes. Hearing aids and hearing aid batteries should not be stored in the bathroom or kitchen where they’ll be exposed to steam and humidity.
9. Get a Dehumidifier for Your Hearing Aid
If you live in a humid part of the country, consider getting a dehumidifier for your hearing aid case and/or the room where you store the batteries. This also helps prevent corrosion which could ruin your hearing aids.
10. Remove the Batteries from the Hearing Aid for Extended Disuse
If you have an ear infection or can’t wear your hearing aids for several days for some reason, take the batteries completely out to get a little more life out of them.
11. Follow Good Hygiene Practices
Dirt, oil and skin cells are always on your hands. These can muck up the hearing aid connection so that it’s not getting all of the battery juice that the battery is producing. Always wash your hands before handling hearing aids or batteries. This will improve the connection.
12. When Should I Change My Hearing Aid Batteries?
Your hearing aids will give you some clues about when you should change the batteries. Consider changing your hearing aid batteries if you find yourself turning up the sound more than usual, if sounds become distorted, or if you hear a beeping sound that alerts you to slow battery life. If everything you hear sounds like it’s in slow-mo, it’s probably not your hearing aids – instead, you might want to go back to 1992 and change the batteries in your Walkman.
13. Consider Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
Rechargeable hearing aid batteries cost a little bit more up front but may save you money over the long term. Some rechargeable batteries only need to be replaced once a year, but they usually don’t have the same energy capacity as disposable batteries, which means you’ll have to charge them more frequently than you would replace a battery. Like everything in life, there are tradeoffs for one or the other, so choose the one you think makes the most sense for you.
These secrets will help your hearing aid batteries last.
Maybe It’s Not the Hearing Aid Battery
Changing your batteries is just part of owning hearing aids and keeping them in good working order. However, sometimes we blame them for everything…even when they aren’t the culprit. Did you know your hearing aids can sound weak for a variety of reasons? If you’ve already checked the battery, consider trying this. Check out more advice on how to optimize your hearing aids.
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Page medically reviewed by Kevin St. Clergy, Audiologist, on April 16, 2020.