Today’s hearing aid batteries are “zinc-air.” Because the batteries are air-activated, a factory-sealed sticker keeps them “inactive” until you remove the sticker. Once the sticker is removed from the back of the battery, oxygen in the air contacts the zinc within the battery, and the battery is “turned-on”.
Placing the sticker back on the battery will not prolong its life. Since many of today’s automatic hearing aids do no have “off” switches, removing the battery at night assures that the device is turned off.
Zinc-air batteries have a “shelf life” of up to three years when stored in a cool, dry environment. Storing zinc-air hearing aids in the refrigerator has no beneficial effect on their shelf life, in fact, quite the opposite may happen. The cold air may actually form little water particles under the sticker. Water is made of oxygen and hydrogen. If the water vapor creeps under the sticker, the oxygen may contact the zinc, and the battery could be totally discharged by the time you peel off the sticker! Therefore, the best place to store batteries is in a cool dry place, like the back of your sock drawer, not the fridge!
One question often asked is “How long does the battery last?” Typically they last 7-14 days based on a 16 hour per day use cycle. Batteries are very inexpensive, costing less than a dollar each. Generally, the smaller the battery size, the shorter the battery life. The sizes of hearing aid batteries are listed below along with their standard number and color codes.
- Size 5 RED
- Size 10 (or 230) YELLOW
- Size 312 BROWN
- Size 13 ORANGE
- Size 675 BLUE
All batteries, including tiny hearing aid batteries, are toxic and dangerous if swallowed. Keep all batteries (and hearing aids) away from children and pets. If anyone swallows a battery it is a medical emergency and the individual needs to see a physician immediately.