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 save you both money and time, and some are so easy you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t already thought of them.
Imaginative but straightforward life-hacks include flipping your toaster sideways 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 body: some examples include scratching your ear to soothe an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to relieve acid reflux, and forcing your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth to relieve brain freeze from ice cream.
But what about hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can apply to help us hear better or easier? It turns out that there are several—here are our selections for the top 7.
1. Check your hearing online
You can quickly test for hearing loss with one of the many apps available online, or by completing the online hearing test on our website. If the results reveal hearing loss, you can subsequently schedule a professional hearing test with your community hearing care provider.
2. Use white noise to sleep better
Research suggests that employing white noise can help you sleep better as it helps to build a bedtime habit, keeps the room calm, and helps “turn off” your busy brain.
3. Wear specialty earplugs to avoid hearing loss
Prolonged and recurring exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can create permanent hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is an easy way to protect against hearing injury, and the latest earplugs can preserve sound quality while limiting volume. Call your local hearing care provider for more information.
4. Safeguard your hearing with the inverse square law
This law of physics could save your hearing. The inverse square law specifies that as you double the distance from the source of sound the intensity of the sound declines by 75 percent. So, rather than standing front row at a rock concert, increase your distance from the speakers 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 music player with earbuds, maintain the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes per day to avoid hearing loss.
6. Favor your right ear for speech
A study executed 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 hearing a conversation, turn your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Control your hearing environment
Using hearing aids is probably not thought of 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 hearing aids are truly remarkable.
As an example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with smartphones or digital watches. That means the individual can inconspicuously regulate volume and settings for each circumstance—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 miss? What are your preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?