Oxford Dictionaries defines life-hack as: “A strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.” Life hacks can help you save both time and money, and some are so easy you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Creative but straightforward life-hacks include turning your toaster oven on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using the sticky portion of sticky notes to clean between the individual keys of a keyboard, and using duct tape to open jars.
Life-hacks can even relate to the human body: examples include scratching your ear to eliminate an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to lessen acid reflux, and pressing your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth to relieve brain freeze from ice cream or frozen foods.
But what about hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can use to help us hear better or easier? As it happens, there are quite a few—here are our selections for the top 7.
1. Assess your hearing online
You can quickly test for hearing loss with one of the several apps accessible online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the results imply hearing loss, you can subsequently schedule a professional hearing test with your community hearing care provider.
2. Utilize white noise to sleep better
Studies suggest that using white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to create a bedtime ritual, keeps the room quiet, and helps “shut down” your busy brain.
3. Use customized earplugs to avoid hearing loss
Extended and repeated exposure to any sound above 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Using custom made earplugs is a simple way to avoid hearing injury, and the latest earplugs can preserve sound quality while limiting volume. Call your local hearing care professional for more information.
4. Safeguard your hearing with the inverse square law
This law of physics could end up saving your hearing. The inverse square law specifies that as you double the distance from the source of sound the intensity of the sound falls by 75 percent. So, in lieu of standing front row at a rock concert, increase your distance from the loudspeakers as much as you can (while retaining a good view).
5. Use the 60/60 rule when listening to music
If you listen to a portable mp3 music player with headphones, keep the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for not more than 60 minutes per day to prevent hearing loss.
6. Favor your right ear for conversations
A study performed over the course of six years by researchers at UCLA and the University of Arizona discovered that the right ear is better designed for speech and the left ear for music. So the next time you’re having trouble hearing a conversation, direct your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Control your listening environment
Using hearing aids is probably not considered a life-hack, but it is the only way to properly improve hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can do with contemporary hearing aids are truly incredible.
For instance, some hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with smartphones or digital watches. As a result, the individual can discreetly regulate volume and settings for each situation—in essence, the user can literally control the sound environment. We can’t come up with any other life-hack cooler or more helpful than that.
What did we forget? What are your preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?