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 help you save both money and time, and some are so simple you’ll wonder why you hadn’t previously thought of them.

Inventive but straightforward life-hacks include flipping your toaster oven on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing the sticky portion of sticky notes to clean in 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 relieve 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 alleviate brain freeze from ice cream or frozen foods.

But what about hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can make use of to allow us to hear better or easier? It turns out that there are several—here are our selections for the top 7.

1. Assess your hearing on the web

You can quickly check for hearing loss using one of the several apps available online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the final results show hearing loss, you can then schedule a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.

2. Utilize white noise to sleep better

Research suggests that employing white noise can help you sleep better as it helps to develop a bedtime habit, keeps the room calm, and helps “power down” your busy brain.

3. Use custom made earplugs to prevent hearing loss

Extended and recurring exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can result in irreparable hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is an easy way to prevent hearing damage, and the newest earplugs can conserve sound quality while limiting 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 intensity 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 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 prevent hearing loss.

6. Favor your right ear for speech

A study carried out 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 issues hearing a conversation, direct your right ear toward the speaker.

7. Regulate your hearing environment

Wearing hearing aids is probably not thought of as a life-hack, but it is the only means to appropriately enhance hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can perform with the latest hearing aids are truly incredible.

For example, some hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with mobile phones or digital watches. As a result, the individual can inconspicuously modify volume and settings for each situation—in essence, the user can literally regulate the sound environment. We can’t find any other life-hack cooler or more useful than that.

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

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