What do you recommend we tell our patients in terms of realistic expectations when it comes to hearing aid battery life, since it varies so much from person to person?
Jenna Rebout: It’s important for professionals to make patients aware of how the signal processing in the hearing aid may impact battery life. Rather than tell a patient a specific number of days that a battery will last, educate the patients on the features in their hearing aids. Explain that while these features interact to benefit them in different environments, they will impact current drain and battery life. Help them understand what is a realistic range for battery life, rather than specific number of days.
Denis Carpenter: Battery life is going to be very individual; two patients using the same hearing aid won’t necessarily have the same battery life. It depends on the hearing aids’ settings, what features are active, how many hours a day they use the devices, and the environments that they are in. Obviously, a patient who wears hearing aids for 16 hours a day is not going to have the same battery life as one who only wears hearing aids for 8 hours a day. In addition, it’s very common that the batteries in a binaural set of hearing aids will last different amounts of time. That’s because if the loss is different between the ears, then the programming between the right and left aids are different. This impacts battery life. So there are many individual factors to consider.
When you first fit the hearing aids, tell the patient to track their battery life on the calendar, and mark the dates when they need to change batteries. They can do this for the first few months to get an idea of the average amount of time their batteries will last, based on all the individual factors we talked about.
If you overestimate from the start, and tell patients they get about 7 days out of their hearing aid batteries, but they only get 5, for example, they will be unhappy.
Jenna: Good point, Denis. It’s important not to generalize and tell patients, “Most of my patients get ___ days from a battery”. Personalizing the experience and establishing what is average for each patient by having them track their battery life will result in happier patients.