All hearing aid batteries are toxic and dangerous if swallowed. Keep all batteries (and hearing aids) away from children and pets. If anyone swallows a battery, it is a medical emergency, and the individual should see a physician immediately and call poison control (1-800-222-1222 in the United States).
One question often asked is “How long does the battery last?” Typically, hearing aid batteries last 7 to 14 days based on a 16-hour per-day use cycle. Batteries are inexpensive, costing less than a dollar each. Generally, the smaller the battery size, the shorter the battery life. The sizes of hearing aid batteries are listed below, along with their standardized number and color codes.
- Size 10 – YELLOW
- Size 13 – ORANGE
- Size 312 – BROWN
- Size 675 – BLUE
Today’s hearing aid batteries are “zinc-air.” Because the batteries are air-activated, a factory-sealed sticker keeps them inactive until you remove the sticker. Once the sticker is removed from the back of the battery, oxygen in the air contacts the zinc within the battery, and the battery is “turned-on.” Placing the sticker back on the battery will not prolong its life.
Since many of today’s automatic hearing aids do not have on-off switches, removing the battery at night assures that the device is turned off. Zinc-air batteries have a shelf life of up to three years when stored in a cool, dry environment. These special battery types should not be stored in a refrigerator due to the moisture content in the air. If water vapor creeps under the sticker, the oxygen may contact the zinc, and the battery could be totally discharged by the time you peel off the sticker.