The shoddy battery life in his hearing aid really “bugged” Ethan Manuell. Now it’s possible that millions of people will benefit from his five-minute rule.
As part of an eighth grade class project, Ethan, who has worn a hearing aid since age four, conducted an experiment using robotic bugs and found that hearing aid batteries will last up to 85% longer when exposed to the air for five minutes before insertion.
“Most people don’t know this, so they just pull the tab off and insert it, like it’s a sticker or something,” said Ethan, who lives in Minnesota with his family.
Ethan’s audiologist, Dr. Mary Meier, has been sharing the news with other patients at the Olmsted Medical Center.
“I keep telling my patients about it, it’s now in the written information we give them when we do the fitting,” Dr. Meier said.
Patients at the Olmsted Medical Center who have tested Ethan’s theory say that their hearing aid batteries are lasting up to two days longer. Currently, hearing aid batteries have to be replaced every 5-7 days. Ethan’s discovery could save the seven million folks in the U.S. who wear hearing aids $70 every year.
Ethan has received accolades for his discovery, including a U.S. Naval Science Award–an added bonus for the kid who said he just wanted to get a good grade.