Woman cupping had around ear

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 save you both money and time, and some are so easy you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t already thought of them.

Clever but straightforward life-hacks include flipping your toaster oven 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 relate to the body: examples include scratching your ear to relieve an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to alleviate acid reflux, and forcing 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 use to help us hear better or with less effort? As it happens, there are several—here are our picks for the top 7.

1. Check your hearing using the internet

You can rapidly test for hearing loss using one of the many apps accessible online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the results imply hearing loss, you can then arrange a professional hearing test with your community hearing care provider.

2. Use white noise for a better night’s sleep

Research suggests that using white noise can help you sleep better as it helps to create a bedtime ritual, keeps the room quiet, and helps “shut down” your lively brain.

3. Use specialty earplugs to prevent hearing loss

Extended and recurring exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can cause irreparable hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is a simple way to avoid hearing injury, and the newest earplugs can preserve sound quality while reducing volume. Call your local hearing care provider 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 origin of sound the strength 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 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 not more than 60 minutes per day to avoid hearing loss.

6. Favor your right ear for conversations

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 understanding a conversation, turn your right ear toward the speaker.

7. Regulate your listening environment

Wearing hearing aids is probably not regarded as a life-hack, but it is the only means to properly enhance hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can do with contemporary hearing aids are truly extraordinary.

For example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with smartphones or digital watches. That means the user can discreetly modify volume and settings for each environment—in essence, the user can literally control the sound environment. We can’t find any other life-hack cooler or more useful than that.


What did we miss? What are your preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?

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