August 2014 Newsletter

August, 2014

Volume 9, Issue 2

Editor- Trish Kaminski

(574) 243-7766

Notes from the Editor

Here’s hoping that everyone has been enjoying their summer. Took forever to get here and now it’s only a few months before we’re facing old man winter again! Ugh! For those ‘techies’– remember to get me your e-mail addresses!

Don’t forget to keep wearing those earplugs while mowing! And for you hunters out there – we have ear protection for you too!


Helpful Tip

Don’t keep your hearing aids too long – 7 years is about the max for a hearing aid to last. Components wear out and performance drops dramatically.

How Long Should a Hearing Aid Battery Last?

One of the most common questions asked by hearing aid wearers is “How long should my hearing aid battery last?” One would think that this is an easy question to answer but it really is not.

One reason that this is difficult to answer is simply that every hearing aid wearer is different and has their own unique hearing loss, personal environment, hearing device and usage pattern. For this reason, your audiologist can only tell you an average life span for your hearing aid batteries.

Hearing aid batteries are very small and manufacturers must fit all of the components required for power into this small space. One solution to this challenge is zinc air which has become the preferred chemistry for hearing aid batteries.

Zinc air batteries use air as an active ingredient. The batteries are designed with small air holes in the battery body which are covered during manufacturing with an adhesive tab. Once the tab is removed, the chemical reaction begins and the battery powers up. Since air is all around us, it is not put inside the battery when manufactured which leaves room for more elements needed to power the battery and make it last longer.

Once that tab is removed though, the battery life clock begins ticking. The chemical reaction cannot be stopped or slowed – even if you take the battery out of your hearing aid or try to re-cover them with the tabs.

As with anything exposed to the air around us, the battery is susceptible to the environment– humidity, temperature, altitude just to name a few. These factors affect the life clock of your batteries.

Then you add into this the technology of the hearing aids themselves. Some hearing aids are very sophisticated and power-hungry. Adding on features andaccessories also put a drain on the life clock of batteries.

In a nutshell, a definite answer to the question of “how long should my hearing aid batteries last” cannot be given a definite answer. The wearer is the best gauge for this inasmuch to track usage for an entire pack of batteries with normal wearing of the hearing aids.

-Hearing Health, Spring 2014

Helpful Tip for Batteries

To get about 10 -15 extra hours of life out of your batteries – let the new battery sit for two minutes with the sticker off before putting it in the hearing aid.

A thoughtful gift…..

For those of you with hearing instruments or have family or friends with hearing instruments… a Dry & Store (hearing aid conditioner) is the absolute perfect gift to assist in keeping those hearing instruments working at their best. We have them in stock!

Competing With Background Noise

Hearing speech in the presence of background noise can be difficult for anyone but especially difficult for those with a hearing loss no matter what age, degree of hearing loss or which hearing aid one wears.

Hearing and understanding speech in the presence of background noise is a complex physiological process. Wearing hearing aids can usually improve the way sounds are presented to the ear, but it cannot change the way your brain processes the signal your ear receives.

The way hearing loss affects the way we hear, especially in noise, is more complicated than mostpeople realize. Hearing loss occurs whenhair cells in our inner ears die or are damaged. The loss of these cells affects not only how loud a particular sound needs to be for you to hear it, but also how well you understand speech and how well you discern speech in the presence of background noise.

It is crucial that all three of these areas be tested during your audiological evaluation and then discussed. The results of these evaluations are very important for both the hearing healthcare provider and the patient to know and understand.