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 time and money, and some are so simple you’ll wonder why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Creative but simple life-hacks include shifting your toaster oven on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using the sticky region 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 human body: some examples include scratching your ear to cure 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 your hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can apply to allow us to hear better or with less effort? As it happens, there are quite a few—here are our selections for the best 7.
1. Assess your hearing on the web
You can quickly check for hearing loss with one of the many apps accessible online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the results show hearing loss, you can subsequently arrange a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.
2. Make use of white noise for a better night’s sleep
Studies suggest that employing white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to develop a bedtime ritual, keeps the room calm, and helps “turn off” your lively brain.
3. Use custom earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Extended and repeated exposure to any sound above 85 decibels can cause irreversible hearing loss (rock concerts can get to over 100 decibels). Wearing custom earplugs is a simple way to protect against hearing damage, and the newest 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 specifies that as you double the distance from the source 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 loudspeakers 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, maintain 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 found that the right ear is better designed for speech and the left ear for music. So the next time you’re having issues hearing a conversation, direct your right ear towards the speaker.
7. Control your listening environment
Wearing hearing aids is probably not considered a life-hack, but it is the only means to appropriately enhance hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can do with modern-day hearing aids are truly extraordinary.
For example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with smartphones or digital watches. As a result, the user can inconspicuously modify volume and settings for each environment—in essence, the user can literally regulate the sound environment. We can’t come up with 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)?