Teen Discovers a Way to Improve Hearing Aid Battery Life

In hearing aids by Ed Kocher, ACA, BC-HIS

Ed Kocher, ACA, BC-HIS

8th Grade Student Discovery Extends Battery Life

Hearing aid batteries, the lifeblood for most hearing aids, can be a costly add-on to anyone’s budget. The average battery life can last anywhere between 2 and 7 days depending on use and models so cycling through new batteries can add up quickly.

But recently an 8th grade student from Rochester, Minnesota discovered a simple life hack or tip that can extend hearing aid battery lives.

A Young Inventor

Ethan Manuell, a hearing aid user himself, conducted a study with the help of his audiologist looking at the effects of activating batteries and the wait time until one places it in their hearing aid.

To preserve them, hearing aid batteries come with a sticker to prevent early oxidation with the zinc oxide that make the batteries work. The sticker preserves the battery and keeps it inactive prior to use. By removing the sticker, oxygen will mix with the zinc oxide thus resulting in an active battery ready for use.

Manuell discovered that if one waits 5 minutes to allow oxygen to energize the maximum amount of zinc oxide, battery life might be extended by 2 to 3 days longer than expected. He explains, “The more energized zinc you have, the longer it lasts. So this discovery I made, if you wait five minutes, it improves the battery life by 80%.”

Coined as the “5 Minute Rule,” Ethan Manuell has received many awards and has been recognized for his findings—including a US Naval Science Award. This simple life hack is an amazing discovery from today’s young talent!

Preserve Your Battery Life!

Other ways to preserve and extend your battery life as well as care for your hearing aids include:

1) Storing batteries and hearing aids in a cool, dry place
Keeping hearing aids and batteries away from their mortal enemies, heat and moisture, are two ways to preserve and extend overall battery life. If they are stored where they may be exposed to sunlight and heat for extended amounts of time or in the bathroom that’s prone to high humidity, they may be at risk of being destroyed. If one stores batteries in areas like these, they may be damaged prior to use. Additionally, we don’t recommend storing hearing aid batteries in the refrigerator as this may also ruin them.

2) Turning hearing aids off at night
When you are not using your hearing aids, like when you sleep at night, don’t forget to turn them off! One of the easiest ways to preserve your batteries as well as your hearing aids is to make sure you turn them off and take the batteries out during routine maintenance at night. So make it a habit to give your hearing aids a break when you aren’t using them.

3) Air out your hearing aids
When you perform your routine hearing aid maintenance, leave the battery door open so you can air out the whole hearing aid from moisture build up from the day’s activities. This keeps the battery compartment itself dry as well.

While it’s helpful to be proactive about hearing aid and battery care, curious minds like Ethan Manuell help give us neat and easy tips to get the most out of the tools we use.

Without proper care the 5 Minute Rule may be ineffective. But by ensuring that batteries hearing aids are stored and cared for appropriately, the 5 Minute Rule may not only prolong battery life but also save one money. Since the accumulating cost of hearing aid batteries can accrue to be quite a hefty annual sum, a simple life hack like the 5 Minute Rule is a great way to cut costs.

So next time you change your hearing aid batteries, keep this idea in mind and wait 5 minutes!

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