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How long do hearing aid batteries last?

Learn what to expect from a hearing aid battery

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There are a lot of hearing aids on the market, and this variety means there are also multiple types of hearing aid batteries. The kind that works best for you will depend on your preferences and the style and features of your hearing aid. Below we’ve outlined currently available types of hearing aid batteries, their life spans and how to keep them working.

Types of hearing aid batteries

Disposable batteries can be recycled at many hearing aid stores.

While there are a few different types of hearing aid batteries available, they generally fall into two main categories:

  • Rechargeable batteries are becoming increasingly popular. These lithium-ion batteries can be recharged rather than replaced. Many users choose to recharge their devices overnight. However, rechargeable devices aren’t as widely available yet, and they’re mostly used in behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids.
  • Disposable batteries are more common, coming standard on most devices. These are usually zinc-air batteries, meaning they become usable after you remove a protective sticker and the battery hits the air for the first time.

Disposable hearing aid batteries come in different sizes, which are often organized by color.

ColorSizeCommon usageAverage battery life
Red5Rarely usedLimited
Yellow10Completely-in-canal (CIC), in-the-canal (ITC) and invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) models3 to 7 days
Brown312Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), receiver-in-canal (RIC) and in-the-ear (ITE) models3 to 10 days
Orange13Behind-the-ear (BTE) and ITE models6 to 14 days
Blue675BTE models9 to 20 days

Hearing aid battery sizes

There are four standard sizes of disposable hearing aid batteries: 10, 312, 13 and 675. These battery sizes are associated with a given color, as seen in the above table. These colors can be found on battery packaging or on the protective seals of the batteries themselves.

... the type of disposable battery you need will depend on the hearing aid you use.”

Across the industry, 312 (brown) batteries are common, as they can work in a wide variety of hearing aids. However, the type of disposable battery you need will depend on the hearing aid you use.

Hearing aid battery life

Generally speaking, the bigger the battery, the longer it can power your device. However, your usage will affect the amount of use you get from your batteries. For instance, if your hearing aid has a lot of additional features, like Bluetooth, it will likely drain power faster.

Disposable batteries can remain viable for about three years if you don’t peel off the sticker that keeps them away from oxygen. However, once they’re exposed to the air, these batteries begin to lose charge.

While disposable hearing aid batteries may not last long, they’re fairly easy to take out and replace, so the process becomes routine pretty quickly. If you or your loved one has limited manual dexterity, a rechargeable battery may be a better choice, though. Plugging in a rechargeable battery should require less fiddling than replacing tiny batteries.

Rechargeable batteries can remain viable for up to five years, but the amount of use you can get before needing a recharge is often model-dependent. If you’re shopping for a hearing aid with a rechargeable battery, look for a model that can run all day and fully recharge overnight.

How to make hearing aid batteries last longer

Here are a few tips for getting more out of your disposable hearing aid batteries:

  • Store your batteries properly: Keep your batteries in a dry, room-temperature environment. Organize them by age (so you use the oldest ones first), and keep the plastic backing on until you’re ready to use them.
  • Handle with clean hands: When you do go to use your hearing aids or change your batteries, wash your hands first. Grease and dirt from your fingers can ruin the life of your batteries and cost you in the long run.
  • Utilize the “five-minute rule”: This rule refers to the time between taking off the plastic on a new battery and inserting it into your hearing aid. By waiting five minutes, you allow the maximum amount of air to enter the battery. This could extend its life span by up to three days.
  • Keep your hearing aids dry: Moisture can ruin a hearing aid battery even once it’s in use. When not on your person, store your hearing aids in a dry place with the battery compartment open so that all moisture can leave.
  • Consider a hearing aid dehumidifier: If you’re having a hard time keeping your hearing aids dry, consider purchasing a hearing aid dehumidifier. These help ensure that your hearing aid stays as dry as possible.

Hearing aid battery safety

Hearing aid batteries do have a potential for risk. Here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Store them in a safe place: Batteries contain many compounds that can be dangerous if ingested. Protect your pets, children or grandchildren from these dangers by keeping batteries out of reach and in a safe place. You should also keep them away from medications, as they may be easy to confuse with pills.
  • Dispose of the batteries safely: Because batteries can be dangerous, it’s important to dispose of them in a way that doesn’t put others at risk. Most audiologists offer free recycling programs where they recycle batteries safely.
  • Never place them in your mouth: While you might be tempted to hold a battery in your mouth if your hands are occupied, that’s not a good idea. Likewise, young children shouldn’t have access to batteries for this reason.

Bottom line

In general, disposable hearing aid batteries last between three and 20 days, and rechargeable batteries should only need a charge every night. With proper care, you may even get some extra time from your disposable batteries. If you’re unsure about which type of disposable battery you need, your audiologist or hearing aid manufacturer should be able to help.

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