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 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 turning your toaster sideways to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using the sticky part of sticky notes to clean in between the individual keys of a keyboard, and using duct tape to open jars.
Life-hacks can even pertain to the human body: examples include scratching your ear to soothe an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to lessen acid reflux, and forcing 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 make use of to allow us to hear better or with less effort? As it happens, there are several—here are our picks for the best 7.
1. Assess your hearing on the web
You can quickly check for hearing loss using one of the several apps accessible online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the final results suggest hearing loss, you can subsequently set up a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.
2. Employ 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 quiet, and helps “power down” your active brain.
3. Use customized earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Extended and repeated exposure to any sound above 85 decibels can develop into irreparable hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Wearing custom made earplugs is an easy way to avoid hearing injury, and the latest earplugs can conserve sound quality while limiting 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 specifies 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 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 music player with earbuds, maintain the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes per day to prevent hearing loss.
6. Favor your right ear for speech
A study performed 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 trouble understanding a conversation, turn your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Regulate your hearing environment
Using hearing aids is probably not considered a life-hack, but it is the only way to appropriately enhance hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can do with contemporary hearing aids are truly remarkable.
For example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with mobile phones or digital watches. That means the individual can discreetly fine-tune volume and settings for each circumstance—in essence, the user can literally regulate 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 preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?