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 money and time, and some are so easy you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Creative but straightforward life-hacks include flipping your toaster oven on its side 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 even apply to the human body: some examples include scratching your ear to alleviate an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to soothe acid reflux, and pushing 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 use to allow us to hear better or easier? As it happens, there are several—here are our selections for the best 7.
1. Check your hearing on the web
You can rapidly 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 imply hearing loss, you can then arrange a professional hearing test with your community hearing care provider.
2. Use white noise for a better night’s sleep
Research suggests that using white noise can help you sleep better as it helps to create a bedtime routine, keeps the room quiet, and helps “shut down” your lively brain.
3. Wear custom made earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Extended and recurring exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can trigger irreparable hearing loss (rock concerts can reach over 100 decibels). Using custom 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. 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 strength 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 earbuds, keep the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for a maximum of 60 minutes per day to avoid hearing loss.
6. Favor your right ear for conversations
A study executed over the course of six years by researchers at UCLA and the University of Arizona found that the right ear is better designed for speech and the left ear for music. So the next time you’re having difficulty understanding a conversation, turn 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 perform with modern day hearing aids are truly extraordinary.
For example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with smartphones or digital watches. As a result, the user can discreetly modify volume and settings for each circumstance—in essence, the user can literally regulate the sound environment. We can’t think of any other life-hack cooler or more useful than that.
What did we forget? What are your preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?