Rochester, MN  (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester middle school student will be honored Tuesday evening by the Rochester School Board for a recent scientific discovery that may sound simple but will benefit users of hearing aids.  

A news release from Olmsted Medical Center says 8th grader Ethan Manuell discovered a way to extend the lifespan of hearing aid batteries.

Ethan’s study began with a conversation last year with his OMC audiologist, Dr. Mary Meier. He discovered if zinc-oxide batteries are installed in a hearing aid too soon after a strip of tape is removed from their oxygen ports, their life span falls from 5 - 7 days to just 2- 3 days.   Ethan found a 5-minute wait was required to maximize the battery’s lifespan.

His findings were validated by Dr. Meier’s other patients. “They routinely report gaining one to two days of battery life by following the five-minute rule,” says Meier. “This has been incredibly helpful to my patients. I’m grateful for that and am so proud of Ethan!”

His '5-minute rule' study has already earned several honors, including a US Naval Science Award.  Officially known as 'The Effect of Wait Time on the Lifespan of Hearing Aid Batteries,' the study may help as many as 7 million hearing-aid users in the US.

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