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Hearing Aids > Batteries

Like virtually all wireless electronic devices, hearing aids are powered by batteries and these batteries need to be replaced on a regular basis. The particular battery used, as well as its longevity and power charge, will vary somewhat depending on the specific hearing aid model.
Hearing aid batteries are a separate category of battery products. Today, most hearing aids take one of four standardized hearing aid battery types which are uniquely identified via a color code and a size number. The classification is as follows: yellow / size 10, orange / size 13, brown / size 312, and blue / size 675.

Hearing aid batteries are made by a large number of manufacturers, including Energizer, Duracell, and Rayovac. However, by remembering the size and color of the batteries used for their hearing aids, consumers can be sure of buying the right batteries regardless of manufacturer. Typically, a hearing aid battery will provide five to seven days of usage. Given the frequency of replacement, most consumers will want to have a spare battery on hand for when the one in the hearing aid runs out of charge.

Hearing aid batteries may be purchased at retail stores or online. Most hearing aid batteries are “zinc air” types, meaning that they work by mixing zinc with the outside air. These batteries come with a tab which must be removed to activate the battery. Once the tab has been taken off, it takes about a minute for the battery to activate, at which point it will continue to stay active until it runs out of charge. This is a one-way process, meaning that the battery cannot then be deactivated by replacing the tab. As long as the tab remains undamaged, a hearing aid battery will have a shelf life of about three years.

Battery manufacturers have several recommendations to extend the life of hearing aid batteries. Turning off the hearing aid at night and opening the battery compartment will reduce battery drain and keep moisture from clogging the air hole. Keeping the hearing aid and the back-up batteries at room temperature will also improve longevity and performance. Avoiding contact with metal objects such as keys or coins will prevent the batteries from shorting out.

Traditionally, hearing aid batteries have contained mercury to aid conductivity and stabilize internal materials. However, the presence of mercury has been an issue for environmentally conscious consumers. Recently, a number of manufacturers have made “zero mercury” models available. These batteries offer comparable performance to traditional products, but with the added benefit of not containing mercury. It is expected that in the near future all hearing aid battery manufacturers will transition their products to the “zero mercury” model.

Given the small sizes of hearing aid batteries, it is vitally important to keep them out of the reach of infants and children. If a battery is accidentally swallowed or ingested, emergency health services should be contacted immediately. As an additional resource, the National Capital Poison Center in Washington, D.C. operates a 24/7 hotline for battery ingestion cases at: (202) 625-3333.

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Below we have included a color coded chart showing each of the primary hearing aid battery sizes, their associated colors, and the corresponding product codes from leading battery manufacturers.

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