Hearing aids are the most common form of hearing technology, but they have one major flaw. They tend to burn through batteries at an alarming rate. With close to 20 percent of the population in this country experiencing some form of hearing loss, you can bet the battery manufacturers are only ones happy right now.
The reality is, though, that good working batteries are a necessity if you want the hearing aid to work well but there are things you can do to make them last. For the savvy hearing aid customer, a little forward thinking about how long the batteries last will save you tons of cash on replacements and keep you hearing at the same time. Consider five covert ways that you can use to extend that hearing aid’s battery life.
1. Shop Well
Hearing aids are expensive and that cost factor doesn’t stop after they are paid for, either. How the hearing aid utilizes battery power is a primary consideration as you buy. There are many reasons for a serious battery drain such as:
- Type hearing aid
- Type battery
- How you use the hearing aids
- How many hours you wear the hearing aids
Figuring out what features will work well in your life is a critical and something you need to research before picking out your hearing aids. Look for the features that will enhance your quality of your life, but get educated about what you’re buying first. Those little add-ons like wireless connectivity, direct audio input and synchronization can sometimes use lots of energy, so you have to balance out what you need with how much they contribute to battery burn.
Talk to a certified hearing aid retailer about each feature and make sure to ask how it affects battery life, then get the ones that matter most. Make sure you understand how each feature changes the way the battery operates and how that will, in turn, change the cost of replacement batteries down the road.
2. Practice Good Hand Hygiene
When you do have to replace your hearing aid battery, hand washing should be your first step. Cleaning your hands well will remove any grease and dirt from your skin before you touch the battery. This debris can affect the performance of the battery and actually damage the hearing aid, too. Take the time to dry your hands thoroughly before handling either the battery or the hearing aid, because water does work well with either.
3. Practice Good Hearing Aid Hygiene Too
You’ll also want to clean the hearing aids themselves. Dirt and ear wax build up can have a real effect on how each device works and, in turn, affecting the battery life. There are problems with poorly maintained hearing aids. First, ear wax, dust and other stuff will accumulate on these devices, keeping the speakers and ports from working well. This means you might be turning up the sound more often and draining that battery power in the process. The second concern involves changing the batteries out. If you put your fingers on a dirty hearing aid, you will transfer that debris to the battery.
Read the manufacturer’s recommendations to for keeping your hearing aids well maintained. This will likely include a good cleaning before switching out the battery and instructions to wash your hands right before making the change.
4. Follow the Storage Instructions for the Batteries
Often batteries come in a pack, so there are extra ones to store. Read the instructions on how you should properly keep them to ensure they are safe. Some common storage advice includes:
- Leaving the tabs on all unused batteries
- Storing them loose batteries at normal room temperature
- Keep the batteries away from metallic objects like coins or keys
- Let the battery sit for one minute after removing the tab and prior to inserting it into the hearing aid
These are basic steps designed to enhance the performance and lifespan of each battery.
5. Turn off the Hearing Aids
When you are not wearing your hearing aids, make sure to turn them off. Place the device in a safe container, preferably the one that came with it and then pull open the battery door. This allows any moisture inside the hearing aid to escape while cutting back on the units battery drain. If you plan on leaving the hearing aids out for an extended period, remove the batteries completely.
Keep in mind, too, that the better quality the battery and the hearing aid, the less time and money you’ll spend in the long run. It’s tempting to save money by buying cheap, but, in the end, it just ends up costing you more. Hearing aids and batteries go hand in hand, so shop smart and take care of your investment to keep both of them working at their best.