Life hack is defined by Oxford Dictionaries 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 save you both money and time, and some are so easy you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Innovative but simple life-hacks include turning your toaster oven on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing the sticky portion of sticky notes to clean between the keys of a keyboard, and using duct tape to open jars.
Life-hacks can even pertain to the human body: some examples include scratching your ear to eliminate an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to soothe acid reflux, and pressing your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth to alleviate brain freeze from ice cream.
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 picks for the top 7.
1. Assess your hearing using the internet
You can rapidly check for hearing loss with one of the many apps available online, or by completing the online hearing test on our website. If the results suggest hearing loss, you can subsequently schedule a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.
2. Use white noise for a better night’s sleep
Studies suggest that employing white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to develop a bedtime routine, keeps the room quiet, and helps “turn off” your busy brain.
3. Wear custom earplugs to avoid hearing loss
Prolonged and repeated subjection to any sound higher than 85 decibels can bring about irreversible hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is a simple way to avoid hearing damage, and the newest 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 save your hearing. The inverse square law states that as you double the distance from the source of sound the strength of the sound falls by 75 percent. So, in lieu of standing front row at a rock concert, increase your distance from the speakers 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 mp3 music player with headphones, keep the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for a maximum of 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 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, direct your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Regulate your listening environment
Using hearing aids is probably not considered a life-hack, but it is the only way to appropriately enhance hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can perform with modern-day hearing aids are truly extraordinary.
As an example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with mobile phones or digital watches. As a result, the individual can inconspicuously fine-tune volume and settings for each scenario—in essence, the user can literally regulate the sound environment. We can’t come up with any other life-hack cooler or more useful than that.
What did we forget? What are your preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?