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 already thought of them.
Inventive but straightforward life-hacks include flipping your toaster oven on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing the sticky region of sticky notes to clean between the keys of a keyboard, and using duct tape to open jars.
Life-hacks can even relate to the body: examples include scratching your ear to eliminate an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to ease acid reflux, and pressing your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth to alleviate brain freeze from ice cream.
But what about our hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can employ to help us hear better or easier? As it happens, there are several—here are our picks for the top 7.
1. Check your hearing using the internet
You can quickly test for hearing loss with one of the several apps accessible online, or by completing the online hearing test on our website. If the findings show hearing loss, you can then book a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.
2. Employ white noise to sleep better
Research suggests that using white noise can help you to sleep better as it helps to develop a bedtime habit, keeps the room calm, and helps “shut down” your busy brain.
3. Use custom made earplugs to avoid hearing loss
Extended and repeated subjection to any sound higher than 85 decibels can induce irreversible hearing loss (rock concerts can get to over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is a simple way to protect against hearing injury, and the newest earplugs can retain sound quality while limiting volume. Contact your local hearing care provider for more information.
4. Protect your hearing with the inverse square law
This law of physics could end up saving your hearing. The inverse square law states that as you double the distance from the origin of sound the strength of the sound drops by 75 percent. So, rather than standing front row at a rock concert, increase your distance from the loudspeakers as much as you can (while sustaining a good view).
5. Use the 60/60 rule when listening to music
If you listen to a portable music player with earbuds, maintain the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for not more than 60 minutes per day to avoid hearing loss.
6. Favor your right ear for speech
A study carried out over the course of six years by researchers at UCLA and the University of Arizona found that the right ear is better designed for speech and the left ear for music. So the next time you’re having difficulty following a conversation, turn your right ear toward the speaker.
7. Control your listening environment
Using hearing aids is probably not regarded as a life-hack, but it is the only means to properly enhance hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can accomplish with modern day hearing aids are truly incredible.
As an example, some hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with mobile phones or digital watches. As a result, the user can discreetly adjust volume and settings for each situation—in essence, the user can literally control the sound environment. We can’t think of any other life-hack cooler or more valuable than that.
What did we forget? What are your favorite life-hacks (health-related or in general)?