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How humidity, temperature and altitudes can affect hearing aid battery life

15 October 2019
an image of high altitude, cold, humid environment which is not ideal for hearing aid batteries

If you’re a hearing aid user, have you ever wondered why the life of the battery in your device changes when you go on holiday in a different climate? Or perhaps you’re a keen walker or mountaineering enthusiast and have noticed battery life on your hearing aid is affected the higher you climb?

Paul Deeble, Technical Liaison Manager at leading hearing aid battery manufacturer RAYOVAC©, talks about how certain environments can affect the life of your hearing aid battery.

Humidity & heat

The humidity within an environment can affect your hearing aid’s battery life.

Paul explains: “Hearing aid batteries contain zinc air chemical technology, which can be sensitive to the presence or absence of moisture in the air. If you are in an environment that is high in humidity, possibly even wet, hearing aid batteries may absorb moisture through the holes that are designed to take in air to activate it, and subsequently this can shorten battery life.”

If you have spent a number of hours in a high humidity environment, it is recommended that you allow your hearing aid and its batteries to dry out when you are not wearing it. Opening the battery door and leaving it in a cool, dry place will help to remove any condensation or moisture from within the device.

You could also use a hearing aid dehumidifier to help maintain your device.  However, remember to remove the batteries from the device first.  Using a dehumidifier with batteries in situ can unfortunately have an adverse effect on the batteries by drying them out.

The opposite of a high humidity environment is, yes, you guessed it, low humidity, and that can also have an impact on your hearing aid batteries. Paul continues; “If the environment is very dry and hot, such as you’d find in a warm holiday destination, this could cause your hearing aid batteries to dry out much quicker than they normally would, which will also reduce battery lifespan.”

a waterfall in a rainforest

Cold Conditions

Reduced temperatures may lead to a lowering of the hearing aid battery voltage during use as the zinc air reaction can be subdued.  This can, in extremely cold conditions, lead to a premature ‘low battery signal’ from the hearing aid, giving the perception of reduced battery life.  However, the greatest risk to your hearing aid and its batteries in cold environments is of condensation forming within the hearing aid when moving from a cold to a warm environment. 

 “When the air temperature drops, your hearing aid will also cool down,” says Paul. “If you are outdoors in the cold and then you go inside where the temperature is higher, condensation could form on your device. This can cause moisture damage to the electronics and/or the hearing aid battery.  It is rather like wearing spectacles in winter, moving from an outside cold environment to an inside, warmer atmosphere with more moisture in the air where your lenses sometimes ‘fog’ as warm air meets the cold surface.”

Moisture damage can also occur when your hearing aid comes into contact with rain, snow, or even perspiration from heavy exercise or exertion.

If you are expecting to be in a colder environment for more than a short time, it is recommended you wear a hat, earmuffs or a headband to help protect your ears and hearing aid device. As well as preventing condensation from forming on your device, it can also stop sweat, rain or snow from damaging the hearing aid or the battery.

If you do accidently get your hearing aid damp, you can try using a hearing aid dehumidifier to dry it out, but again, remember to remove the batteries first.

For more information on taking care of your hearing aid and its batteries in the colder months, visit our – page here: https://rayovac.eu/en/media-centre/articles/caring-for-your-hearing-aids-and-batteries-in-autumn-and-winter

Snow resting on tree's

High altitudes

If you live in a place high above sea level or spend time up in the mountains, you may notice a difference to the life of your hearing aid batteries. This is because the percentage of oxygen in the air decreases as altitude increases. 

“At high altitude, there is less oxygen in the air, which may cause the battery to reach its endpoint earlier or lead to false low battery signals.” says Paul. “Combined with normally low temperature at mountain-high altitudes, the effects on your hearing device’s batteries could be quite remarkable.”

If you are planning to go somewhere that is of high altitude, it is recommended you take extra hearing aid batteries with you, just in case.

A man standing on a mountain

Active Core Plus

Our RAYOVAC® Extra and ProLine hearing aid batteries now contain Active Core Plus™ technology, providing improved cell consistency, longer lasting battery life and increased cell stability. Find out more on our Active Core Plus™ page.

Getting the most out of your hearing aid batteries

If you want more advice on how to prolong your hearing aid battery’s life, please read our guide to the factor affecting battery life here: Factors affecting Hearing Aid Battery Life


"If you live in a place high above sea level or spend time up in the mountains, you may notice a difference to the life of your hearing aid batteries."