Get the facts on hearing aids and rechargeable batteries

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There are many different styles and types of hearing aids on the market today, and with the help of a skilled audiologist, you can find one that’s perfect for you. You’ll need to get acquainted with your device and how it works, and that includes learning about its battery.

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Once you understand the different types of hearing aid batteries and how they work, you can make an informed decision about which one will work best for you.

Hearing aid battery types

If your hearing aid uses zinc air-powered batteries, your battery will have a specific number and color that corresponds with your device. Today’s hearing aids require one of the following sizes:

  • 5 – red – for small/deep fit Completely in the Canals (CIC)s
  • 10 – yellow – for CICs and Receiver in the Canals (RIC)s
  • 13 – orange – for Behind the Ear (BTE)s and (In the Ear) ITEs
  • 312 – brown – for mini BTEs, RICs and ITCs
  • 675 – blue – for High Power BTEs and Cochlear Implants

Zinc air-powered batteries are disposable: they are simply replaced when they wear out.

An alternative to zinc-air powered batteries is a rechargeable battery, which is only usable with certain hearing aids. Rechargeable batteries can be recharged and reused if you have the accompanying charger.

Why rechargeable may not be better

Rechargeable batteries have the advantage of reuse. You don’t have to buy new batteries regularly. But the pros don’t always outweigh the cons for those with hearing loss. Here’s why we don’t regularly recommend hearing aids with rechargeable batteries to our clients:

  • Hearing aids powered by rechargeable batteries do not necessarily save cost in long-term costs. Rechargeable batteries and their accessories can be more expensive over the long haul compared to disposable batteries.
  • They have to be charged every night and in some cases every 8-10 hours which can be inconvenient. The time and commitment required for daily charging is difficult especially if you use your device for 10-14 hours per day Rechargeable batteries often need to be replaced after three years or sooner, and cost much more up front. The charger is an added expense as well. And, you’ll likely want to have more than one pair of rechargeable batteries in case you forget to charge or need your hearing aid for a longer day. Don’t forget to tote your charger along for overnight trips.
  • Some of the current hearing aid technologies with built in rechargeable batteries are also not the best technologies for hearing performance and satisfaction.  Our advice is to utilize the best hearing aid technology and not get wrapped up in finding the best battery technology.

How can I make my hearing aid batteries last longer?

If you’re using the zinc air-powered batteries, use these tips to make your batteries last as long as possible:

  • After removing the sticker, expose the batteries to the air for at least 60 seconds. This helps the battery charge itself fully.
  • Whenever you’re not using your hearing aids, turn them off. Completely open your battery door or drawer each night.
  • Don’t put your batteries in the refrigerator or expose them to sunlight or heat.
  • Purchase high-quality, professional grade, mercury-free batteries from your audiologist, rather than buying the over-the-counter batteries available in stores and online.

Are you wondering what type of hearing aid might be right for you? Associated Audiologists has doctoral-level audiologists that are ready to help. Request an appointment today to get your questions answered about hearing loss and treatment options.

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