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Common Questions About Hearing Aid Batteries

What Do Those Little Shiny Round Things Do?

By Andrea Eatherton

Updated April 28, 2014

Hearing aid batteries are the topic of this interview with Andrea L. Eatherton, M.A., Area Manager, Arizona and New Mexico, Sonus USA Inc. Although the article refers to Sonus batteries specifically, the information is applicable to all hearing aid batteries.

Q. How can I tell what size I need?
A. A few years ago, the hearing aid battery industry standardized battery sizes and came up with a color code to help you remember your battery size.

On the back of each battery is a tab that you pull off to "activate" the battery. Each color corresponds to a different size. Now the numbers and colors for each size are all standard. Sometimes you may see other letters after the numbers, but those are arbitrary letters. The most important thing to remember is size and color as noted in the table below.

If you can't remember your size, keep the color in mind. Your (hearing healthcare professional) will also have this information in your chart and can look it up for you any time.

Q. How long will the battery last before I have to change it?
A. That depends on the type of hearing aid you wear. Some hearing aids require more power and therefore will have a shorter life than others. Digital hearing aids require more battery than an analog hearing aid, simply because more complicated circuits are in a digital hearing aid. Typically, battery life can range anywhere from 5 to 7 days. If you're experiencing a shorter battery life, the hearing aid may not be working properly, and should be evaluated. Your Sonus Hearing Care Professional can evaluate your hearing aid and check the battery contacts, as well as test battery drain. If the hearing aid is not performing to specifications, your (hearing health care professional) can send your hearing in for repair.

An About visitor wrote: Just a little tidbit of information about batteries. I took a while but I finally figured out after talking with many people why some batteries die so quickly. Well, while in transport sometimes the trucks get very hot inside. The tabs are held on with a sticky glue. If the tabs unsticks in the heat the battery is activated. When it gets cooler it sticks right back on the battery. So storing extra batteries in the car bad idea.

Q. What happens when I take the tab off the battery?
A. The most common hearing aid batteries are called "Zinc Air", which means the battery works by mixing zinc with the outside air. Once the tab has been taken off a battery, that hearing aid battery becomes active and will continue to stay active. The battery cannot be "deactivated" by placing the tab back on the battery. The best advice is to keep the tabs on until you need a new battery. If you have a dead battery, keep them separate from your fresh battery supply. Do not keep them together in the same case, as this could lead to accidentally mixing the batteries. As long as you leave the tab on your batteries, you can expect a shelf-life of approximately three years. However, after three years, the battery may not perform as well.

Q. Where can I purchase batteries?
A. There are several ways you can purchase hearing aid batteries. Most drug stores will carry a small selection of batteries. You can also purchase batteries at any Sonus office. Sonus.com has a large selection of batteries that can be delivered directly to your door.

Do you have any other questions about hearing aid batteries? Hearing aids in general? Ask your question.

Hearing Aid Battery Sizes and Colors
Orange Tab Size 13
Brown Tab Size 312
Yellow Tab Size 10
Blue Tab Size 675

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