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Blog

10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Hearing Aid Batteries

Nick Moomaw

Hearing aids are getting more and more advanced as the days go by. With all the advanced processing and new features in todays hearing aids you can expect to get anywhere from 3-10 days off a single battery. We understand the frustration that comes with such unexpected battery lives. Below is a list conducted of ten different ways you can prolong the life of your battery. 

 

Hearing aids are getting more and more advanced as the days go by. With all the advanced processing and new features in todays hearing aids you can expect to get anywhere from 3-10 days off a single battery. We understand the frustration that comes with such unexpected battery lives. Below is a list conducted of ten different ways you can prolong the life of your battery. 

 

  1. Let the battery "breath" for 3-5 mins: After removing the tab, let the battery sit for 3-5 mins before installing it into your hearing aid. This activation time allows air to reach the materials inside the battery and activate them. 

  2. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling batteries: Grease and dirt can ruin your hearing aid along with clog air pores located on the battery.
  3. Use a hearing aid dehumidifier: A hearing aid dehumidifiers job is to absorb any and all moisture located inside your hearing aid and battery. It is also an excellent place to store your hearing aids so they can't get lost or damaged.
  4.   Open the battery door when you are not using the hearing aid anymore: When you are not wearing the hearing aid anymore make sure and turn it off as well as open the battery door so that the battery is not being drained when not in use. Another benefit or opening the battery door is to let excess moisture escape. 
  5.  Remove battery all together if you are not using hearing aid for extended periods of time: This helps prevent corrosion along with any other damages caused by trapped moisture.
  6. Check the expiration date on the batteries: The further out the expiration date the fresher they are. Batteries will drain slightly over time so when buying them for your hearing aids make sure you check the expiration and aim for around a year out.
  7.   Use the oldest pack of batteries first: You want to ensure you are getting the most out of all your batteries so make sure you use the batteries with the closest expiration so you know you're getting the most out of them as you can.  
  8. Keep the stickers on the batteries: The sticker tabs on the batteries themselves keep them fresh. After removing that tab the battery is activated and starts draining immediately after. So make sure you are taking the tab off only on the batteries needing to be used right away. 
  9.  Keep the batteries in a cool dry place: Keeping batteries in extreme heats or moistened air will effect batteries and cause them the train some of the life before being used. Make sure they are kept in a fairly dry room temperature room.  
  10.  Buy your batteries from a hearing clinic: To make sure you are getting the right kind for your hearing aid make sure you get the batteries from a hearing center.              

How Hearing Works

Nick Moomaw

Hearing is one of the most extraordinary senses and is a complex process that involves many parts of the ear to convert sound into viable information. The ear consists of three main parts. The outer ear (the external ear and ear canal), the middle ear (the eardrum and three very small bones that make up the ossicular chain: the malleus, incus, and stapes), and the inner ear (the cochlea and the auditory nerve). 

 Sound begins with a vibration in the atmosphere known as sound waves. These sound waves first enter the outer ear and are directed down the ear canal where the sound vibrates the eardrum. Next the vibration of sound move to the three little bones. After vibrating the three bones the sound finally travels to the inner most part of the ear called the cochlea. The cochlea consists of tiny hair cells and fluid which help process vibrations into information. The thousands of microscopic hair cells are bent by the wave-like action of the fluid inside the cochlea. The bending of these hairs sets off nerve impulses, which are then passed through the auditory nerve to the hearing center of the brain. This center translates the impulses into sounds the brain can recognized, like words, music or laughter, for instance. 

If any one of these delicate systems breaks down, hearing loss can be the result. 

MP3 players are causing hearing loss!

Nick Moomaw

Today 40% of U.S adults own a MP3 player, Ipod, or other types of playback devices. These devices poise a huge threat to hearing loss. There are three major aspects that contribute to this threat:

  1. Volume Level 
  2. Type of headphone (In the ear vs. Over the ear)
  3. Length of time used (approximately 1 hour each day)

It should come to no surprise learning that exposing your ears to constant high volumes can and will result in some sort of hearing loss. 59% of teenagers and 34% of adults listen to their music at high volumes for an approximate time of one hour everyday, according to a poll done by CNN. MP3 players along with other playback devices can reach around 100 decibels (measurement of loudness). At that level your ears should only be exposed for up to 15 minutes. By simply turning the volume lower and listening for less time you save some risk involved with using these playback devices.

Playback devices typically come with a pair of earbuds. Earbuds are tiny headphones that are placed directly into the ear canal. Because of this close contact to your eardrum and sensory hairs, these earbuds can add an additional 9 decibels to the sound level in which you are partaking in while listening to music. The recommended tool preferred for those who enjoy listening to music are the headphones that fit over your head and on the outside of the users ears. This decreases the sound level in which one is exposing their ears to. To get the most out of the music you are listening to while trying your best to limit the decibel rate you are engaging in, it is highly recommended to wear noise cancelling headphones. In order for most to accurately hear what is being played from the playback device being used, the volume is turned up to mask over background noise. This adds approximately 20 extra decibels on top of the sound you are trying to eliminate. For example, lets say you are mowing the lawn. An average lawn mower puts out around 90 dB (decibels). In order to hear the music you wish to listen to while doing an everyday chore, you would need to increase the volume to cover the background noise. At this point you are looking at around 100 dB which is a very high amount and should only be listened to for around 15 minutes maximum. 

If users are listening to their music at moderate to low volume levels permanent or severe hearing loss is less likely to happen. Below is a quick example of decibel level compared to time listening:

  • 85 dB -> 8 hours can cause extreme hearing loss
  • 88 dB -> 4 hours can cause the same amount of damage 
  • 100-105 dB -> 15 minutes is the maximum amount of time you should expose your ears to this level of sound. 

Hearing loss due to MP3 players, Ipods, and other playback devices can be monitored and prevented by being aware of the intensity in which you are listening to your music and even how you are listening to the music. By limiting the time exposed to high volumes and exterminating background noise you are already taking two giant steps towards preserving your hearing.