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Colorado Springs

Audiology, Inc.

 

Phone  719.520.1155

LOCATION  & DIRECTIONS

Dr. Gene McHugh

Licensed Audiologist

In Colorado

OFFICE HOURS

Mountain Time USA

Mon-Thurs

9:00AM-5:00PM

Closed Fridays

 

 © Copyright 2017 

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HEARING AID BATTERIES

 

Prices, sizes, capacity, variables affecting use & materials, warnings 

 
 

 

All hearing aids require battery cells to operate.  Most are disposable, while a small number are "rechargeable,"  Disposable means when the battery dies, you throw it out.  Very few are rechargeable. 

 

Prices:  Batteries are 50¢ per battery and the minimum order is six so, the cost for a six pack is $3.00.  No tax.  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.

Sizes:  Hearing aid 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:  BLUE for 675; ORANGE for 13, BROWN for 312 and YELLOW for 10.  So no matter what brand you buy, you can find the battery size you need by knowing what COLOR you take.

*There exists one size smaller (5), that has not been very popular due to the extremely limited battery life.  

 

 
*Battery Size 675 13 312 10
Capacity at 1.0mAh 640 hours 290 hours 165 hours 95 hours

     

     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. 

 

Capacity.  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. 

     So 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

     So 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?

 

     Are there other variables?  Yes, a few.  Other variables affecting battery life include:

  • Occasionally, 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. 

 

Mercury-free batteries.  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 audiology online

 

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.  

 

Warnings

     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, etc.).