Woman cupping had around ear

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

Imaginative but straightforward life-hacks include flipping your toaster on its side 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 also relate to the body: examples include scratching your ear to soothe an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to alleviate acid reflux, and pushing 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 apply to allow us to hear better or easier? It turns out that there are several—here are our picks for the best 7.

1. Test your hearing on the web

You can rapidly test for hearing loss with 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 local hearing care provider.

2. Use white noise to sleep better

Studies suggest that using white noise can help you sleep better as it helps to create a bedtime ritual, keeps the room quiet, and helps “power down” your busy brain.

3. Use customized earplugs to avoid hearing loss

Extended and repeated exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can induce irreversible hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is a simple way to prevent hearing damage, and the most current earplugs can retain sound quality while reducing volume. Contact your local hearing care provider for more information.

4. Safeguard 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 declines by 75 percent. So, in lieu of standing front row at a rock concert, increase your distance from the speakers as much as you can (while sustaining a good view).

5. Use the 60/60 rule when listening to music

If you listen to a portable mp3 music player with earbuds, maintain the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes per day to avoid hearing loss.

6. Favor your right ear for speech

A study carried out over the course of six years by scientists 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 listening environment

Wearing hearing aids is probably not thought of as a life-hack, but it is the only way to properly improve hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can do with modern-day hearing aids are truly incredible.

For example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with mobile phones or digital watches. As a result, the individual can discreetly fine-tune 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 forget? What are your favorite life-hacks (health-related or in general)?

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