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 save you both money and time, and some are so simple you’ll wonder why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Inventive but straightforward life-hacks include turning your toaster oven sideways to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing the sticky region of sticky notes to clean in between the individual keys of a keyboard, and using duct tape to open jars.
Life-hacks can also relate to the body: some examples include scratching your ear to alleviate an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to relieve acid reflux, and pressing 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 apply 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 check for hearing loss with one of the many applications available online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the final results suggest hearing loss, you can then set up a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.
2. Employ white noise to sleep better
Studies suggest that using white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to build a bedtime ritual, keeps the room quiet, and helps “turn off” your busy brain.
3. Use custom earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Prolonged and recurring exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can lead to irreparable hearing loss (rock concerts can reach over 100 decibels). Wearing custom made earplugs is a simple way to protect against hearing damage, and the newest earplugs can preserve sound quality while reducing volume. Call your local hearing care professional for more information.
4. Protect your hearing with the inverse square law
This law of physics could save your hearing. The inverse square law specifies that as you double the distance from the origin of sound the strength of the sound declines 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 preserving 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 a maximum of 60 minutes per day to prevent hearing loss.
6. Favor your right ear for conversations
A study carried out 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, turn your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Control your hearing environment
Wearing hearing aids is probably not considered a life-hack, but it is the only way to properly improve hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can do with modern day hearing aids are truly remarkable.
For instance, some hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with mobile phones or digital watches. That means the individual can inconspicuously regulate volume and settings for each environment—in essence, the user can literally regulate the sound environment. We can’t find any other life-hack cooler or more valuable than that.
What did we forget? What are your favorite life-hacks (health-related or in general)?