Did you just start wearing hearing aids? If so, you’ll want to make yourself familiar with their care. I am sure that your audiologist will explain basic hearing aid care to you but he may fail to mention a few things about the batteries that go into them. I happen to know a few things about hearing aid batteries. When I was working as a social worker in a skilled nursing home, it was part of my job to teach my clients how to take care of their hearing aid’s batteries. I was also responsible for helping them purchase and store the batteries in their rooms. With that said, here are five things to keep in mind about hearing aid batteries:
Do Use the Right Size
Just like there is a tool for every job, there is a specific hearing aid battery for each hearing aid. Resist the urge to buy a battery that is cheaper or more powerful than the one your hearing aid calls for. Doing so may cause damage to the hearing aid not to mention affect your hearing.
Do Keep Batteries and Connectors Clean
In order for your hearing aid to work properly, it is also important to keep your hearing aids’ batteries and connectors clean. Dust, oil and other foreign matter can keep the battery from making a full connection. Think of a car battery. If the terminals get rusty or caked with deposits the car doesn’t start properly right? Well the same can be said of hearing aid batteries. I would recommend wiping the hearing aid battery down with a lint free cloth prior to installation. As far as cleaning the hearing aids, you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
Do Use Proper Storage Techniques
Hearing aid batteries are poisonous and easily swallowed by uninformed children and pets. Some inquisitive kids may also stick the batteries into their ears or nostrils. Either option can cause them harm. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you properly dispose of your old hearing aid batteries as well as safely store your replacement ones.
Don’t Open the Packaging Until Needed
Do not remove the tape from the back of your hearing aid battery until you are ready to use it. The tape is there to keep the air, dust and moisture from entering the battery’s internal components. The air helps to activate the battery. The other two elements can destroy one. As such, removing the plastic tab prematurely could shorten the life of the battery or potentially render it useless.
Don’t Over Buy
When I was advising clients regarding hearing aid care, I would always recommend that they avoid stockpiling batteries. Like similar items, some hearing aid batteries do have a shelf life. One of the last things that you need to do is spend a bunch of money on hearing aid batteries that will expire before you have a chance to use them. Hence, I would suggest buying hearing aid batteries in increments of six months or less and checking the expiration date on the package before making your way to the checkout counter.
Killeen Gonzalez is a former social worker and family advocate. She has a history of working with hearing impaired individuals and their families.
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