One of the more challenging aspects of adapting to your new hearing aids is the batteries that power them. Not only are they small and can be lost easily, they also need to be changed routinely. How long they actually work will depend on the size of the battery, the power level of your hearing aids and if you are using wireless features.
On average, a small size 10 battery will last three to five days; a size 312 for seven to 10 days; a size 13 will last ten to fourteen days; and a size 675, the biggest battery, should run for anywhere from two weeks to seventeen days. Because you are regularly changing your hearing aid batteries, you may be tempted to throw the used button cell or zinc air batteries into the trash. While convenient, tossing these tiny batteries into your trash may actually harm the environment.
The zinc-air batteries found in most hearing aids use air as an energy source and come in a variety of different sizes. Be mindful when disposing of these, as well as other hearing aid batteries, as zinc-air batteries contain zinc, which should never be tossed in with household waste.
A far better option is to recycle your batteries. Most municipalities have drop-off centers with recycling drop-off boxes for used batteries. The batteries will then be processed and the toxic metals removed and sold for re-use in various industries. A great option is to donate them to the Miracle-Ear Foundation. Through the Hear Again Recycling Program, your old hearing aid is either recycled or refurbished it to give to someone in need.
Rechargeable options are an increasingly popular alternative to single-use zinc air hearing aid batteries. These batteries can be charged multiple times before they need to be replaced, making them a far more economical option. Consider the average yearly costs of the four sizes of single-use batteries: size 10 may cost around $150 for a pair; size 312 $80; size 13 $50; and size 675 $30 per year. Thankfully, rechargeable hearing aid batteries are growing in popularity.
The next time you catch yourself tossing your old batteries into the trashcan, think of how you can recycle them instead. Better yet, think about investing in rechargeable hearing aid batteries and save yourself the trouble of ever having to buy batteries again.