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 save you both time and money, and some are so easy you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t already thought of them.
Imaginative but simple life-hacks include flipping your toaster on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing the sticky part of sticky notes to clean between the keys of a keyboard, and using duct tape to open jars.
Life-hacks can even apply to the human body: examples include scratching your ear to relieve an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to soothe acid reflux, and pushing your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth to alleviate brain freeze from ice cream or frozen foods.
But what about your hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can use to help us hear better or with less effort? As it happens, there are several—here are our picks for the best 7.
1. Check your hearing on the web
You can quickly test for hearing loss with one of the many applications available online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the findings show hearing loss, you can then arrange a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.
2. Use white noise to sleep better
Research suggests that employing white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to build a bedtime habit, keeps the room quiet, and helps “power down” your busy brain.
3. Wear custom earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Prolonged and recurring subjection to any sound above 85 decibels can trigger irreversible hearing loss (rock concerts can reach over 100 decibels). Wearing custom earplugs is a simple way to prevent hearing damage, and the newest earplugs can conserve sound quality while reducing 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 states that as you double the distance from the origin 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 maintaining a good view).
5. Use the 60/60 rule when listening to music
If you listen to a portable music player with headphones, maintain the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for no 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 scientists 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 difficulty following a conversation, direct your right ear toward the speaker.
7. Control your hearing environment
Wearing hearing aids is probably not thought of as a life-hack, but it is the only means to appropriately improve hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can accomplish with contemporary hearing aids are truly extraordinary.
For instance, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with smartphones or digital watches. As a result, the user can inconspicuously adjust volume and settings for each situation—in essence, the user can literally control the sound environment. We can’t find any other life-hack cooler or more helpful than that.
What did we forget? What are your favorite life-hacks (health-related or in general)?