What to know about zinc air batteries
In order for your hearing aids to work properly, you need to replace their zinc air batteries regularly. But these devices don't take your traditional AA or AAA batteries that may be lying around your house. Hearing aid batteries are called zinc air batteries, and they come in five sizes. These types of batteries can be purchased at your hearing healthcare facility as well as online and in many drug stores. Choosing the right type of battery depends on your specific hearing devices. Luckily, zinc air batteries are number and color coded to make for easy recognition of the type of batteries you need.
How do zinc air batteries work?
Zinc air batteries work differently than your typical household batteries. They work with oxygen in the air to provide power to your hearing aids, and without oxygen, the devices cannot work. Oxygen slowly passes through fine holes and a filter of the battery so it can absorb enough. When you are purchasing your zinc air batteries, you'll have the option of 5-red, 13-orange, 312-brown or 675-blue, and you can find the label on the back of the stick tab.
You may also be wondering why there is a little tag sticking out of the battery as well. This sticker keeps the battery fresh while it's not in use and ensures that the zinc is protected inside the battery. However, when you are ready to use the zinc air batteries, the sticker should be removed. Let the battery sit out for a minute before inserting it into your devices in order to activate the zinc. Once you remove the tab, the zinc begins to flow through your hearing aids. So make sure that you do not remove the sticker before you are ready to use the battery.
(Key: BTE=behind the ear, ITE=in the ear, RITE=receiver in the ear; ITC=in the canal; CIC=completely in the canal.)
Storage and other know how
To get the most out of your hearing aid zinc air batteries – and with the amount you use them, it is cost effective to do so – you will need to store them in a cool, dry place so the zinc isn't damaged, and your batteries have the longest life possible. However, this doesn't mean they should be stored in a cold place like your fridge, or an unsafe place like your purse or wallet.
While your hearing aids are in use or the devices are being stored in a safe place, make sure that they are clear of any moisture. Water or perspiration can damage both the hearing aids and the zinc air batteries. The life of zinc air batteries varies between devices but generally, they will last between 5 and 7 days. However, digital hearing aids usually need more power than analog devices.
When your hearing aids are not in use, open up the battery compartments and turn off the devices. This can extend the life of your hearing aids because it prevents from drainage of the zinc and dries any moisture.
If you have any more questions about zinc air batteries for your hearing aids, ask a hearing care professional for advice. Also, you may be interested in learning more about rechargeable batteries, which are growing in popularity.