Dr. Gene McHugh
Mountain Time USA
9:00 AM-5:00 PM
© Copyright 2018
HEARING AID BATTERIES
Prices, sizes, and capacity variables
affecting use and materials, and warnings
hearing aids require battery cells to operate. Most are
disposable, while a small number are
means when the battery dies, you throw it out. Very few
Prices: Batteries are 50¢ per battery and the minimum order is
six, so the cost for a six pack is $3.00, tax free. Every August, we have a one month battery special with all
prices discounted by 25% or more! Needless to say, most of our
patients buy their batteries in August.
batteries come in four sizes - 675, 13,
312, and 10* with 675 being the largest and 10 the
smallest. Over the last 20 years, all hearing aids have
been designed to accommodate these four sizes.
Many companies manufacture hearing aids batteries including
Rayovac, Duracell, Eveready, and Varta to mention a few.
All use the same color coding system to differentiate the four
sizes of batteries:
Regardless of which brand you buy, you can find the battery size
you need by knowing which COLOR you have.
*There exists one size smaller (5), that has not been
very popular due to the extremely limited battery life.
Capacity at 1.0mAh
Behind the ear (BTE) style hearing aids usually take either a
675 or 13, since they are larger. In-the-ear (ITE) usually
take a 13 size; in-the-canal (ITC) the 312 size and
completely-in-canal (CIC) the 10 size.
Each hearing aid battery cell comes with a certain amount of
battery life, referred to capacity. The larger the
battery size, the higher the capacity when tested at the same
current drain of 1.0 milli-amperes per hour (mAh).
In the table above, notice the hours of battery life under each
battery size. This represents the number of hours a
typical battery would last if the hearing aid's current drain
were exactly 1.0 milli-amperes. While hearing aid
batteries may look like watch batteries, batteries for hearing
aids do not last very long at all when compared to watch
batteries due to the unusually high current drain
So the answer to the question, "HOW
MANY DAYS WILL MY HEARING AID BATTERY LAST?" is primarily
dependent upon what battery SIZE you take and the CURRENT DRAIN
of your hearing aid.
Variables affecting use:
Typically, the "current drain" is noted on the specification sheet for
each hearing aid. You might have to ask your audiologist for that
information. Smaller, lower gain hearing aids tend to have lower
current drain, typically between 1.0 - 1.5 milliamperes per hour (mAh).
Very strong, high powered BTE's might drain at 3.0 -5.0 mAh.
let's try a calculation. If the drain on a 13 battery were 1.5mAh,
how many hours of life would you get? Let's figure it out.
You would divide 290 hours (shown above for 13 batteries) by 1.5mAh (the current drain). As such, battery life should be
around 193 hours.
how many days is that? That depends upon the average number of
hours you use your hearing aid each day. Most people wear their hearing
aids approximately 10-12 hours per day. In the example above, that
would be 16-19 days. However, if you use the hearing aid(s) only
five hours per day, you should more days, right?
there other variables? Yes, a few. Other variables
affecting battery life include:
the level of volume and/or level of input noise; but this is
only true for high-gain instruments.
Altitude, due to the
catalyst being "air" as described below. This is not often
a problem for most people in the U.S., but is a problem
for those of us in Colorado who live at 5000 feet and above.
Patients report getting an extra one or two days when traveling
to low altitude areas. This is the reason.
Materials. Hearing aid battery cells are called
"zinc-air" as it relates to
its material contents. This is why you often see an "A" following
the number, such as 675A or 13A, etc. The "A"
stands for "air activated."
Batteries have a positive (+) and negative (-) side and
must be inserted into the hearing aid's battery compartment correctly.
Hearing aid batteries are mercury-free
which is good for the environment. The early mercury-free
batteries were found to have some problems, but we are told the
batteries after 2013 are working as well as the batteries with
mercury. For a thorough explanation about mecury free
hearing aid batteries and why the need to switch to mercury
free, click on this youtube video from
Starting the battery. The
air catalyst is activated by removing a
protective seal covering two holes on the battery (shown on the
picture). Once the holes are exposed, the battery begins
discharging. After the battery dies, just throw it away. It
is environmentally safe.
However, if a battery is swallowed accidentally, it can cause a
toxic reaction. In such a case, immediately contact your physician
to determine the best method to extricate the battery. And be sure
to keep batteries away from pets, children or persons with abnormal
cognitive function (e.g., Alzheimer's syndrome, developmental delays,