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Hearing Aid Batteries

By: Paul Harrison Updated: 28th August 2020 in: Latest News, Articles
Types of Hearing Aid Batteries

Types of Hearing Aid Batteries

Hearing Aid Batteries

The hearing aids of today are getting smaller, more advanced and more powerful than those of the past - whether they are powered on standard batteries or rechargeable versions.  Rechargeable batteries need to be charged fairly regularly and standard batteries are disposable and need to be replaced.  In this article, we discuss the different types of batteries for hearing aids and common questions we get asked by our patients.

What are the different hearing aid battery types?

A hearing aid uses on average about one battery per week and you need one hearing aid battery per hearing aid. Some hearing aids with very small batteries may only provide 4 days use whereas ones with larger batteries may last up to 2 weeks.  Historically, mercury zinc batteries were the most popular form for a hearing aid.  Now the zinc-air batteries are commonplace, as they are more eco-friendly and maintain reliable voltage.

Are hearing aid batteries all the same?

No, they are all different, similar to regular household batteries you can buy various brands of hearing aid batteries and in different sizes.  Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid styles historically use size 13 and 312 batteries.  Whereas, In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids usually use size 312 or 10 batteries.  To make it easier, each size has an industry-standard colour code, which we have highlighted below.

The four main hearing aid battery sizes are:

Hearing Aid Battery Size 10:  This is sometimes called 10A and is the smallest size of the hearing aid battery. It is colour coded with a yellow sticker on the battery and usually the pack.

Hearing Aid Battery Size 312:  This is the next size up from a size 10. It is colour coded with a brown sticker on the battery and usually on the pack. From the end, it looks like a size 13 battery but is half the thickness.

Hearing Aid Battery Size 13:  This is the size that most NHS hearing aids use. It is colour coded with an orange sticker and on the pack as well.

Hearing Aid Battery Size 675:  This is the largest battery and is usually only used in powerful hearing aids. It is colour coded with a light blue sticker on the battery and on the pack.

Hearing Aid Batteries

Are hearing aid batteries rechargeable?

Hearing aids don’t always have to use standard batteries or disposable batteries, there are rechargeable versions available – so they can be recharged.  These are simply called rechargeable hearing aid batteries or lithium-ion batteries and pretty much all hearing aid brands have these as an option in their device ranges.  Basically, you don’t have to buy new batteries when your old ones run out of power.  You just recharge them and go!

Can hearing aid batteries be recycled?

Most consumers choose to buy the rechargeable version of the modern hearing aids on the market, as they are more eco-friendly and more convenient.  However, those who wear hearing aids that require standard batteries need to recycle them correctly and not dispose of them with everyday rubbish.  Most local supermarkets now have battery recycling points for the disposal of hearing aid batteries and household ones too.

Do hearing aid batteries expire?

Rechargeable batteries need to be charged fairly regularly and standard batteries are disposable and need to be replaced.  Rechargeable hearing aid batteries have a shelf life too.  For instance, if your battery compartment in your hearing aid doesn’t have a door then it has a lithium-ion rechargeable battery inside.  This means that these batteries take about 3-4 hours to fully charge and can usually last you around 24 hours.  This type of battery usually lasts as long as the life of your hearing aids – roughly around 4-5 years.

NHS hearing aid batteries

Are hearing aid batteries free on the NHS?  The simple answer here is yes, you can get free hearing aids and repairs from the NHS.  However, this is only the case if you have NHS hearing aids.  You can obtain them from your local GP or they can send them out to you in the post.  NHS hearing aids, as standard, are free of charge (on a loan basis) and currently come with a selection of free batteries.

What is the cost of hearing aid batteries?

The price of hearing aid batteries varies on what brand you go for and sometimes what size you need.  It is important that you invest in ones that are long-lasting and high-performance - so you will ways have the confidence that they can deliver reliable power throughout your day.   The most popular brands are Rayovac and Duracell.  On publication, the average you will pay for batteries is around £2.00 for a pack of six mercury-free zinc-air batteries.

Hearing Aid Battery

How long do hearing aid batteries last?

For all generic and standard hearing aid batteries, it really depends on the type of hearing aid that needs powering and its overall capacity, how often you are wearing your hearing aids and how much you stream via Bluetooth connectivity.  This is also a similar case for rechargeable hearing aids.  If you stream a lot you will be recharging your batteries more regularly.  But, there are some nifty and discrete charging pods out there that you can easily take out with you and charge on the go.  Some manufacturers have 'quick charge' options for when you are in need of it most and need a power boost urgently.

Our top tips for hearing aid batteries (and getting the most out of them)

  • Always wash your hands before changing your batteries:  Dirt and oil can be detrimental to hearing aids and can block the air pores in the battery.
  • Let them breathe:  You only have to do this for about 5 minutes after you have removed the tab from the battery.  This is a good idea because the ‘breathing’ time allows air to get to the materials inside the battery, which activates them.  After this time put them in the battery compartment.
  • Leave the door open:  When you’ve taken your hearing aids off, turn them off and open up the battery compartment door.  It reduces battery drain and helps trapped moisture escape, so the hearing aids are less likely to get damaged or the battery corrode.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier:  This will help absorb any moisture that is hidden in your hearing aid and battery.  Your battery power will be used to its full potential and it’s also a safe place to store your devices especially if you don't have a charging pod.
  • Keep them safe:  Store your batteries in a cool, dry and safe place.  Hot and wet atmospheres drain the power from batteries – even if they are in packaging.  Always keep them stored away from children.
  • Think about an upgrade:  Successive iterations of rechargeable technology were subsequently developed, each improving on the last. But the latest development, called lithium-ion technology, maybe the best yet. This game-changing technology is the first to achieve full days worth of power on one charge.  There are many reasons to take advantage of lithium-ion rechargeable hearing technology.

Where can I get hearing aid batteries?

We advise all NHS hearing aid users to contact their local Audiology Department to order more or request that they post them out to you.  For private hearing aid wearers, you can get hearing aid batteries from your own audiologist in the clinic or they can post them out to you at your convenience.

 

The Benefits of Rechargeable Hearing Aids  LEARN MORE HERE >>

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Paul Harrison
Hearing Aid Advisor
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