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 sideways to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using the sticky region 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: examples include scratching your ear to relieve an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to soothe 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 employ to help us hear better or with less effort? It turns out that there are several—here are our picks for the best 7.
1. Test your hearing on the web
You can rapidly check for hearing loss with one of the several applications available online, or by completing the online hearing test on our website. If the results reveal hearing loss, you can subsequently set up a professional hearing test with your community hearing care provider.
2. Utilize white noise to sleep better
Studies suggest that employing white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to establish a bedtime habit, keeps the room quiet, and helps “power down” your busy brain.
3. Use customized earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Prolonged and recurring exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can trigger irreversible hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is a simple way to prevent hearing damage, and the most current earplugs can retain 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 falls 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 retaining a good view).
5. Use the 60/60 rule when listening to music
If you listen to a portable mp3 music player with earbuds, maintain 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 executed over the course of six years by scientists 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 issues following a conversation, direct your right ear toward the speaker.
7. Control your hearing environment
Wearing hearing aids is probably not thought of 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 the latest hearing aids are truly remarkable.
For instance, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with mobile phones or digital watches. That means the user can inconspicuously regulate volume and settings for each scenario—in essence, the user can literally control 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)?