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 wonder why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Inventive but straightforward life-hacks include shifting your toaster oven sideways to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing 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 also pertain to the body: some examples include scratching your ear to cure an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to lessen 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 our hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can make use of to allow us to hear better or with less effort? It turns out that there are several—here are our picks for the top 7.
1. Test your hearing using the internet
You can quickly test for hearing loss using one of the several apps available online, or by completing the online hearing test on our website. If the findings show hearing loss, you can then set up a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.
2. Use white noise for a better night’s sleep
Studies suggest that using white noise can help you sleep better as it helps to establish a bedtime habit, keeps the room quiet, and helps “turn off” your busy brain.
3. Use specialty earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Extended and recurring subjection to any sound above 85 decibels can result in irreversible hearing loss (rock concerts can reach over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is a simple way to avoid 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 source of sound the intensity of the sound drops 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 retaining a good view).
5. Use the 60/60 rule when listening to music
If you listen to a portable music player with earbuds, keep 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 conversations
A study conducted 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 issues hearing a conversation, direct your right ear towards 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 perform with modern day hearing aids are truly incredible.
As an example, some hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with smartphones or digital watches. As a result, the individual can inconspicuously modify volume and settings for each scenario—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 miss? What are your favorite life-hacks (health-related or in general)?