Though many of today’s hearing aids are made with built-in rechargeable batteries, many still take disposable button batteries that contain mercury, silver, lithium and other toxic metals. Knowing how to care for your hearing aid batteries can help prevent a disaster, which is why we outline the do’s and don’ts of hearing aid batteries below.
What Makes Batteries So Dangerous?
According to the National Capital Poison Center, over 3,500 people of all ages swallow button batteries each year. In many cases, these batteries pass through the body via a bowel movement without issue, but sometimes, they can get stuck in the body.
In these cases, the chemicals in the batteries have a greater chance of coming into contact with body fluids, which creates an electrical current that can burn through tissue, damage the internal organs and even lead to death.
Call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 800-498-8666 right away if you or someone you know ingests a battery.
In a similar vein, leaking batteries can cause chemical burns on the skin. If this happens, wipe away the chemicals with a wet cloth, then run cool water over the affected area for at least 15 minutes. Seek medical attention if it continues to burn.
Proper Battery Storage
In order to minimize the risk of your hearing aid batteries being accidentally ingested, it’s important to know how to store them properly.
- Do store your batteries in a container with a lid.
- Do put the container on a high shelf or in a cabinet that locks.
- Do store your batteries at room temperature. (Do not keep them in the fridge – this does not preserve battery life.)
- Don’t put your batteries near metal objects like keys or coins.
- Don’t store batteries near medications, as they can easily be mistaken for pills.
Discarding Old Batteries
After your batteries are dead, keep them in a container that is child- and pet-proof until you can take them to Las Vegas Recycling. Avoid throwing them in the trash, as they can leak and cause contamination.
For more information about hearing aid batteries or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, call Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute.