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 you save both time and money, and some are so easy you’ll wonder why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Creative but straightforward life-hacks include turning your toaster on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using the sticky part 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 human body: some examples include scratching your ear to alleviate an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to alleviate acid reflux, and pushing your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth to relieve brain freeze from ice cream or frozen foods.
But what about hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can make use of to allow us to hear better or easier? 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 check for hearing loss using one of the many apps available online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the findings reveal hearing loss, you can subsequently schedule a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.
2. Make use of white noise to sleep better
Studies suggest that using white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to develop a bedtime routine, keeps the room calm, and helps “power down” your active brain.
3. Use customized earplugs to avoid hearing loss
Extended and repeated subjection to any sound higher than 85 decibels can create permanent hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Wearing custom earplugs is an easy way to protect against hearing injury, and the latest earplugs can preserve sound quality while reducing 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 origin of sound the intensity of the sound declines 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 no more than 60 minutes per day to avoid 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 discovered that the right ear is better designed for speech and the left ear for music. So the next time you’re having trouble hearing a conversation, turn your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Regulate your hearing environment
Wearing 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 do with modern-day hearing aids are truly remarkable.
As an example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with mobile phones or digital watches. That means the user can inconspicuously modify 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 helpful than that.
What did we forget? What are your preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?