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 ask yourself why you hadn’t already thought of them.
Inventive but straightforward life-hacks include turning your toaster oven on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using the sticky part of sticky notes to clean between the individual keys of a keyboard, and using duct tape to open jars.
Life-hacks can even apply to the human body: examples include scratching your ear to relieve an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to lessen 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 exploit to help us hear better or with less effort? As it happens, there are several—here are our selections for the top 7.
1. Assess your hearing using the internet
You can rapidly check for hearing loss using one of the several apps available online, or by completing 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. Utilize white noise to sleep better
Research suggests that employing white noise can help you to sleep better as it helps to establish a bedtime routine, keeps the room calm, and helps “power down” your busy brain.
3. Use customized earplugs to avoid hearing loss
Prolonged and recurring exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can bring about permanent hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is a simple way to prevent hearing injury, and the latest earplugs can preserve sound quality while limiting volume. Contact 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 states that as you double the distance from the source of sound the intensity of the sound falls by 75 percent. So, instead of standing front row at a rock concert, increase your distance from the loudspeakers 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, 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 speech
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 difficulty following a conversation, turn your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Control your hearing environment
Wearing hearing aids is probably not regarded as a life-hack, but it is the only means to appropriately enhance hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can perform with modern day hearing aids are truly amazing.
For instance, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with smartphones or digital watches. As a result, the user can discreetly modify volume and settings for each scenario—in essence, the user can literally regulate the sound environment. We can’t think of any other life-hack cooler or more valuable than that.
What did we forget? What are your preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?