If you’ve recently started wearing hearing aids, it’s important to understand how they work. After all, hearing aids are only as good as the battery that powers them.

Some hearing aids today use rechargeable batteries, which helps you save both time and money because you never have to worry about buying hearing aid batteries again. But while rechargeable hearing aids are growing in popularity, most still take zinc-air batteries. Zinc-air batteries come in four different sizes: 10, 312, 13 and 675. Typically, larger batteries tend to last longer. For instance, size 10 batteries usually last between 3-5 days, but size 675 batteries can last up to 17 days.

Turbocharge Your Hearing Aids

Hearing aid batteries can be expensive, and because you’re constantly using them it’s important that you know how to make them last. Here are a few tips to help your batteries last a little longer.

  • When you’re not using your hearing aids, open the battery doors. This will reduce the amount of power they are using.
  • When you need to use new batteries, tear off the tab on the back three to five minutes before putting them into your hearing aids. This will allow the battery to gain a full charge via exposure to the air. However, don’t take this step too far in advance. Opening the tab more than a few minutes before using the device will cause battery loss.
  • Store your hearing aid batteries at room temperature in an environment that is not excessively humid.
  • Keep your batteries away from objects such as keys or coins. Contact with metal objects can actually cause the batteries to short-circuit.
  • Always use batteries that are not over their expiration date. Batteries tend to lose about 3% of their overall capacity every year, so buying newer batteries will help keep your hearing aids working longer
  • Buy batteries from places that have a high turn-over rate, such as your hearing care specialist’s office.
  • If you notice a drastic drop in battery life and none of these suggestions help, it might be time to have your devices professionally checked by your hearing care provider. Hearing aids work best when they’re powered by a fresh battery, so be sure to take the time to practice proper care and maintenance. When you do, you’ll be rewarded with a world of clearer, more amplified sounds. Conversations will be easier to understand and you will not be forced to turn the volume up on your appliances—saving you both time and, eventually, money as well.