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 simple you’ll wonder why you hadn’t already thought of them.

Inventive but straightforward life-hacks include flipping your toaster on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing 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 even pertain to the human body: examples include scratching your ear to cure 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.

But what about hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can apply 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 on the web

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 results imply hearing loss, you can then book a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.

2. Employ white noise to sleep better

Studies suggest that employing white noise can help you to sleep better as it helps to establish a bedtime habit, keeps the room calm, and helps “shut down” your busy brain.

3. Wear customized earplugs to avoid hearing loss

Extended and repeated exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can develop into irreversible hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Wearing custom earplugs is an easy way to avoid hearing damage, and the newest earplugs can preserve 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 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 declines 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 music player with headphones, keep 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 conducted 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 following a conversation, turn your right ear towards the speaker.

7. Regulate your hearing environment

Using 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 perform with modern hearing aids are truly incredible.

For example, some hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with smartphones or digital watches. As a result, the individual can inconspicuously fine-tune 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 valuable than that.

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

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