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 money and time, and some are so simple you’ll wonder why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Creative but simple life-hacks include shifting your toaster oven sideways to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing 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 even apply to the body: examples include scratching your ear to soothe an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to alleviate 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 exploit to help us hear better or easier? As it happens, there are quite a few—here are our selections for the top 7.
1. Assess your hearing using the internet
You can rapidly test for hearing loss using one of the many applications available online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the final results imply hearing loss, you can subsequently schedule a professional hearing test with your community hearing care provider.
2. Make use of white noise for a better night’s sleep
Research suggests that employing white noise can help you to sleep better as it helps to build a bedtime ritual, keeps the room quiet, and helps “shut down” your busy brain.
3. Use customized earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Prolonged and recurring exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can create permanent hearing loss (rock concerts can get to over 100 decibels). Wearing custom made earplugs is a simple way to prevent hearing injury, and the latest earplugs can safeguard 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 end up saving your hearing. The inverse square law specifies 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 preserving 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 avoid hearing loss.
6. Favor your right ear for conversations
A study carried out 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 following a conversation, turn your right ear toward the speaker.
7. Control your listening environment
Wearing 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 accomplish with modern day hearing aids are truly amazing.
For instance, some hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with mobile phones or digital watches. As a result, the individual can discreetly regulate volume and settings for each environment—in essence, the user can literally regulate 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 preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?