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 you save both time and money, and some are so easy you’ll wonder why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Innovative but simple life-hacks include flipping your toaster sideways to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using the sticky portion of sticky notes to clean in between the keys of a keyboard, and using duct tape to open jars.
Life-hacks can also pertain to the body: examples include scratching your ear to eliminate an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to soothe acid reflux, and forcing your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth to relieve brain freeze from ice cream.
But what about your hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can make use of to help us hear better or with less effort? It turns out that there are quite a few—here are our selections for the top 7.
1. Check your hearing on the web
You can rapidly test for hearing loss with one of the several apps available online, or by completing the online hearing test on our website. If the results imply hearing loss, you can then schedule a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.
2. Utilize white noise to sleep better
Research suggests that employing white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to establish a bedtime habit, keeps the room quiet, and helps “power down” your busy brain.
3. Use specialty earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Extended and repeated exposure to any sound above 85 decibels can create irreparable hearing loss (rock concerts can reach over 100 decibels). Using custom made earplugs is an easy way to protect against hearing injury, and the latest earplugs can safeguard 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 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 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 music player with earbuds, 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 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 difficulty hearing a conversation, direct your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Regulate your hearing environment
Using hearing aids is probably not regarded as a life-hack, but it is the only way to appropriately enhance hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can do with modern hearing aids are truly amazing.
For example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with mobile phones or digital watches. As a result, the individual can discreetly adjust volume and settings for each situation—in essence, the user can literally control the sound environment. We can’t come up with 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)?