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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 time and money, and some are so simple you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t previously thought of them.

Imaginative but simple life-hacks include rotating your toaster on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing the sticky portion 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: some examples include scratching your ear to relieve an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to ease 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 hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can exploit to allow us to hear better or easier? It turns out that there are quite a few—here are our picks for the top 7.

1. Assess your hearing online

You can quickly test for hearing loss using one of the several applications available online, or by completing the online hearing test on our website. If the final results show hearing loss, you can subsequently book a professional hearing test with your community hearing care provider.

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

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

3. Wear custom earplugs to prevent hearing loss

Extended and repeated subjection to any sound higher than 85 decibels can lead to permanent hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Wearing custom earplugs is an easy way to avoid hearing damage, and the latest earplugs can conserve sound quality while limiting volume. Call your local hearing care professional for more information.

4. Protect 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 drops 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 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 conducted 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 hearing a conversation, turn your right ear towards the speaker.

7. Control your hearing environment

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

For example, some hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with mobile phones or digital watches. That means the individual can discreetly adjust volume and settings for each scenario—in essence, the user can literally control the sound environment. We can’t think of any other life-hack cooler or more helpful than that.

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

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