Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aid Batteries

Batteries are one of the most important things when it comes to hearing aids. Hearing aids need a steady source of power from a quality hearing aid battery in order to run effectively and properly. A low battery or defective battery can significantly impair the performance of a hearing aid.

Here are four things you should know about hearing aid batteries:

How Long Batteries Last: Standard hearing aid batteries last anywhere from 3 to 22 days, depending on the type of hearing aid, the battery type and capacity and how often the hearing aid is used.

Changing Batteries: Depending on how often you use your hearing aids, you may need to change batteries once a week or twice a month. You should change your batteries if any of the below occur:

  • Sound becomes distorted or you have to turn up the volume on your hearing aid more than normal.
  • The “low-battery” beep or voice sound comes on, indicating that the battery is getting low and should be changed. Switch to a new set of batteries as soon as you can when you hear this sound.

NOTE: Dead batteries should be removed immediately so they don’t swell and become difficult to remove later.

Protective Seals: You might have noticed a small, sticky tab in orange or another color on each battery in a package. These protective seals keep the battery from discharging power, so never remove the seal unless you’re about to use the battery. Additionally, never buy unopened battery packages as the batteries are most likely compromised.

Wait Five Seconds: Last year a Rochester, Minnesota student discovered how to help extend battery life of hearing aid batteries by waiting after removing the protective seal! See how here!

Minimize Battery Drain: Once you remove the protective seal from a battery it begins to discharge power; however, there are three things you can do to help minimize battery drainage.

  • When not wearing your hearing aid, turn it off or open the battery door. Note, you should always open the battery door at night to allow moisture to escape and to help keep the battery from corroding.
  • If you won’t be using the hearing aid for an extended period of time, take the battery out completely. You can store it in the protective case for your hearing aids.
  • Avoid storing batteries and hearing aids in extreme temperatures, hot and cold, as they can quickly drain battery power and shorten a battery’s lifespan.

TIP 1: Batteries can suddenly lose power, so be sure to carry an extra set with you at all times. Keep an extra package in your purse, car, briefcase or desk at work.

TIP 2: Keep backup batteries away from coins, keys and other metal objects so as to avoid accidentally discharging the batteries before use.

TIP 3: Store batteries at normal room temperatures and do NOT refrigerate or expose to extreme hot or cold temperatures.

TIP 4: Wash your hands before changing batteries. Grease and dirt residue on batteries could damage the hearing aid.

Need more hearing aid care and maintenance tips? Contact us today for product information, care tips and more!

Is Noise Tolerance a Problem?

We have all experienced discomfort in noise. Sometimes it’s too loud, like a motorcycle or large speaker system; sometimes it’s annoying, like fingernails on a chalkboard. Either way, noise takes many forms and impacts each of us differently.

For instance, take the rumbling of a motorcycle engine. While some find it a nuisance, the motorcycle owner may have purchased that exact brand for the sound that it makes while cruising down the highway.  

Most patients will respond to noise differently. Some are tolerant of noise, while others exhibit high sensitivity to noise. These patients who appear sensitive to noise are the ones that cringe at sharp impulsive sounds or feel the need to remove their hearing aids when driving in the car. It’s this particular, noise-sensitive, patient that has motivated some recent research efforts.

There is a research-based agreement that people who are more accepting of background noise (or “noise-tolerant”) tend to be more successful with their hearing aids while those who are “noise-sensitive” are less likely to find success1. This thought has led clinical audiologist to develop research projects that are focused on understanding if the benefit that one person receives from their hearing aids is linked to their individual noise tolerance.

Many have started to answer this question, in part by asking research participants about their willingness to tolerate background noise with a variety of noise-reducing technologies. Early findings suggest that noise-tolerant patients report mild benefits from the reduction of noise while noise-sensitive patients report the greatest benefits. Recall that these noise-sensitive patients are the ones that may be challenged to succeed with hearing aids.

Today, the best guidance for supporting the noise-sensitive patient would be through the selection of advance noise-reducing technologies (e.g., digital noise reduction or directional microphones) and the inclusion of a volume control either on the hearing aid or through a remote control.

Guided by ongoing research, tomorrow’s options may be different. If one could diagnose patients as noise-tolerant or noise-sensitive, it would be possible to identify patients that benefit most from aggressive strategies for improving noise acceptance. Once identified, a research-derived prescription would be selected, presenting a unique combination of hearing aid settings that assist the noise-sensitive patient toward a successful experience with hearing aids.

There’s no doubt that listening in noise is an immense challenge. For anyone with sensitivity to noise, this challenge may become an impasse to their acceptance of hearing aids. This opportunity to significantly improve a patient’s noise tolerance means their path to success could be one that’s short and easily navigated.


Nabelek, A.K., Freyaldenhoven, M.C., Tampas, J.W., Burchfield, S.B., & Muenchen, R.A. (2006). Acceptable noise level as a predictor of hearing aid use. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 17, 626-639.

5 Tips to be a Great Advocate

Being an advocate is hard, and when you’re an advocate for someone with hearing loss, it can be even more challenging. Hearing loss is connected to the misleading belief that only the elderly has it and that hearing aids aren’t for the “young.” In reality, hearing loss affects children and adults of all ages, and according to the World Health Organization, over a billion teens and young adults are at risk for hearing loss as of 2015. That being said, it is very difficult to encourage someone with hearing loss to get the help they need without alienating them or actually causing them to wait even longer.

Being an advocate for someone with hearing loss is hard because you aren’t trying to get someone else to help them but are trying to get them to help themselves. Here are five tips to be a great advocate for a friend or loved one with hearing loss.

  1. Let them come to you: Instead of constantly pushing them to get help or overwhelming them with hearing aid pamphlets and articles on hearing loss, let them come to you when they are ready. Everyone eventually reaches a point at which help is the only option left, so give them time to come to terms with their hearing loss and be ready to help when they ask for it.
  2. “With” not “at”: Don’t talk at them about hearing loss. Talk with them. Let them know you are there to listen and encourage them to be open about difficulties they may be facing.
  3. Sometimes, not all the time: When you notice them blaming their hearing issues on other things (people mumble, it’s windy, it’s loud, etc.), politely suggest that they should have their hearing checked just in case. If they get defensive and say no, let it go and try again at a later time. Be patient and pick your moments wisely. It’s better to mention their loss every now and then instead of all the time.
  4. Two minds think alike: If you have other friends who have hearing loss or wear hearing aids, consider introducing them to each other. Sometimes it takes someone else with hearing loss to help a person see how much he or she is really struggling and how much getting help could improve their life.
  5. Be patient: Try not to get frustrated or impatient when communicating difficulties arise and you have to repeat yourself multiple times. Getting angry or annoyed will only make you less trustworthy as an advocate and may make the person with hearing loss feel like you don’t support them anymore and consequently avoid interacting with you.

5 Halloween Safety Tips for Children with Hearing Loss

Halloween marks the most exciting night of the year for many children. Decked out in their new princess or superhero costumes, kids fill the streets in a hurried effort to amass buckets full of treats. Unfortunately, Halloween can also be a dangerous holiday for children. This is especially true to children who have hearing loss.

The following 5 tips will help children with hearing loss enjoy a fun and safe Halloween night.

  1. Check Hearing Aids

Check hearing aids before you leave to ensure they are functioning properly. Take extra batteries in case you need to change them during your time out.

  1. Make Sure Costumes Fit Properly

Avoid costumes that include masks, hats, scarves or other accessories that could dislodge hearing aids, cover the hearing aid microphones or obstruct your child’s vision. Costumes and accessories should fit well to maintain optimal hearing and avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.

  1. Stay Close

Children under the age of 13 should be accompanied by an adult. Keep an eye out for potential dangers that may be overlooked with the added excitement of trick or treating. Children with hearing loss may not be able to hear if a car is idling, and may unknowingly walk in front of cars assuming they are parked with the engine off. Always use sidewalks and crosswalks and encourage children to walk rather than run between houses.

  1. Walk in a Group

Children that can safely trick or treat without adult supervision should stay with a group of at least three other children. Establish a plan and outline the route the children will take before they leave. Make sure each child in the group is familiar with the route. Agree on an arranged meeting place to check in with them and make sure you know when to expect to have them home.

  1. Wear Reflective Clothing and Bright Colors

Give the children flashlights and apply reflective tape to costumes and treat bags to help pedestrians and drivers see your children. Wearing brightly colored costumes will make keep children visible.

Following these simple tips will help kids and parents enjoy a memorable and most importantly, a safe Halloween night!


3 Back-to-School Hearing Loss Tips

Hearing loss can make learning hard. Teachers constantly move around classrooms, may use microphones during lectures or outside noises may distract or interfere with the professor’s voice. Big classrooms and auditoriums can distort sound, and the presence of other students can make focusing hard as their own voices take over that of the professor’s.

Here are some tips to help make school easier with hearing loss:

  • Tell Your Teacher: Be up front with all of your teachers that you have a hearing loss. Explain to them privately what sounds are hard to hear, what words are hard to understand and what environments or situations are difficult for you. Sit down and discuss some ways in which your teacher can help make things easier such as ensuring he or she always faces you when he or she talks, providing visual or printed lessons in addition to verbal and weekly check-ins to make sure you’re not missing anything important.
  • Nominate a Note-taker: If you have trouble understanding teachers because their voices are lost in an auditorium, they are always moving around the classroom, or some teachers may have softer, higher-frequency voices. You may also have trouble understanding your fellow students’ questions or answers either because they were behind you or on the far end of a 300-seat lecture hall.  In order to combat this, you can get a note-taker through the school’s disability services. If you’re not comfortable doing this or have missed the deadline for a note-taker through school, consider asking a friend in class to help you take notes when you are having trouble.
  • Front Row: Sitting in the front row may mean you get asked more questions than most, but it also means you have put yourself in the best place possible to hear and understand your teacher. It also allows you to pivot left, right or backwards when another student is speaking and have a better chance at getting what they are saying.

Mile-High Hearing

When you fly a few times a year, you start to notice more and more about how your ears react to the noise and air pressure in the cabin. There are a few things everyone notices, but for someone with hearing loss, they might experience those annoyances amplified.

shutterstock_373442335The things you experience:

Difficulty hearing: Even when the passenger next to you talks as loud as they can, you still have to solely focus on what they are saying in order to understand them.

Tinnitus and muffled hearing: You are not alone when you hear that low-frequency hum in your ears after a full day of flying. Tinnitus is often caused by an exposure to loud noise (i.e. the plane’s engine) and results in a buzzing or humming in your ears. People’s voices sound muffled and it is hard to understand someone’s voice even though they are nearby.

Fatigue: Even after a nap on the plane and two cups of coffee, you still feel mentally exhausted.

The reasons why:

Difficulty hearing: The levels change depending on the size and type of plane, but airplane cabins have been measured to range from 75-120dB. In comparison, a Rolling Stones concert might be 120dB and an average conversation might be 75dB. If it is hard to hear someone, do not be too worried; the sound of the engine is much greater.

Tinnitus and muffled hearing: The sound of the plane’s engine is often marked as hazardous with sounds 85dB or louder labeled as “too loud” (click here to learn how loud is too loud). Research shows that you should not be exposed to these loud sounds for more than eight hours, so if you’re planning a trip across the world, be sure to protect your ears. Overexposure to these loud sounds includes ringing in your ears (otherwise known as tinnitus) and muffled hearing.

Fatigue: “Listener fatigue” is the phenomenon that occurs after being exposed to loud noises for a prolonged amount of time, listeners feel tired, fatigued and even irritable. Sound familiar? Exposure to loud noise in even our daily activities can negatively impact our overall health.

The solutions:

Remember to put the following items on a packing list.

Foam earplugs: You can pick up these earplugs in bulk at any convenience store or drugstore. Great for traveling with a group, these bright orange earplugs can be used once and thrown away.

Custom earplugs: An alternative to the foam earplugs, these custom fit earplugs provide a much higher comfort level than the cheaper foam option.

Headphones/custom earphones: If you’re an avid music listener, these headphones can be used for more than just listening to music. With proper fit and use, these custom earphones are great for reducing the noise of the cabin.

Noise-canceling headphones: These devices can provide a great seal to keep unwanted sounds out but also actively reduce the lower-frequency sounds around you. Beneficial on a plane, these can definitely help you to listen carefully.

Find the best fit to your own needs and remember to always include them on your packing list. And trust us, your ears will thank you.

Summer Hearing Aid Care

Summer means sun, warmth and days spent outside! But for those with hearing loss, summer can be particularly difficult.

Hearing aids can be easily damaged when exposed to heat and moisture. In the summer, sweat and water are the two biggest enemies of hearing aids. Sharp temperature changes can cause condensation; hot temperatures cause humidity and an increased propensity to sweat. All of these are damaging to your hearing aids and may prevent them from working properly.FAN2045912

Negative results could include: distorted or weak sound quality, reduced battery life and inconsistent functionality.

Audibel hearing aids now use HydraShield®2, a cutting edge nano-coating developed from a lotus plant to keep moisture out. HydraShield®2 mimics the lotus and keeps moisture and debris (sweat, wax and dust) out of the seams of the hearing aid case and the microphone ports.

But what if your hearing aids don’t have HydraShield®2? Here are some ways to keep your hearing aids safe and functional this summer.

  1.  Remove your hearing aids when exercising outside if it is raining or extremely warm.
  2. At night, leave the battery door open to allow dry, fresh air to move through the hearing aid and relieve any moisture.
  3. Keep you hearing aids in a protective case and out of direct sunlight if you are not wearing them.
  4. Do not store hearing aids in glove boxes, dashboards, or other environments where heat and humidity can build up.
  5. Remove your hearing aids before showering, swimming or any activity in which you will be exposed to water.
  6. Sunscreen has oils that can damage hearing aids, so remove your hearing aids before applying lotions or sprays. Additionally, ensure the sunscreen is dry before putting your hearing aids back on.

Summer can be trying at times, so feel free to reach out to us with questions and recommendations.