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 save you both money and time, and some are so simple you’ll wonder why you hadn’t already thought of them.
Clever but simple life-hacks include shifting 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 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 pushing your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth to alleviate brain freeze from ice cream or frozen foods.
But what about your hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can exploit to allow us to hear better or with less effort? 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 test for hearing loss using one of the many applications accessible online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the findings imply hearing loss, you can subsequently schedule a professional hearing test with your community hearing care provider.
2. Use white noise to sleep better
Studies suggest that using white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to create a bedtime ritual, keeps the room calm, and helps “power down” your active brain.
3. Use custom earplugs to avoid hearing loss
Prolonged and repeated subjection to any sound higher than 85 decibels can induce permanent hearing loss (rock concerts can get to over 100 decibels). Using custom made earplugs is an easy way to prevent hearing damage, and the latest earplugs can safeguard sound quality while reducing volume. Contact your local hearing care provider for more information.
4. Protect 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, instead of standing front row at a rock concert, increase your distance from the speakers as much as you can (while maintaining 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 not more than 60 minutes per day to avoid hearing loss.
6. Favor your right ear for speech
A study executed 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 issues following a conversation, turn your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Control your listening environment
Wearing hearing aids is probably not regarded as a life-hack, but it is the only means to properly improve hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can accomplish with contemporary hearing aids are truly amazing.
For instance, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with mobile phones or digital watches. As a result, the user can inconspicuously modify volume and settings for each scenario—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 favorite life-hacks (health-related or in general)?