7 “Life Hacks” For Better Hearing
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 time and money, and some are so simple you’ll wonder why you hadn’t previously thought of them.
Inventive but simple life-hacks include flipping your toaster sideways to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using 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 also apply to the body: examples include scratching your ear to cure an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to relieve 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 use to help us hear better or easier? It turns out that there are several—here are our selections for the best 7.
1. Assess your hearing online
You can rapidly test for hearing loss using one of the several apps accessible online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the final results suggest 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 to sleep better as it helps to build a bedtime habit, keeps the room quiet, and helps “power down” your busy brain.
3. Wear customized earplugs to prevent hearing loss
Prolonged and repeated subjection to any sound above 85 decibels can induce irreparable hearing loss (rock concerts can get to over 100 decibels). Using custom earplugs is a simple way to protect against hearing damage, and the latest earplugs can preserve sound quality while reducing volume. Call your local hearing care professional 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, instead of standing front row at a rock concert, increase your distance from the loudspeakers 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 headphones, keep 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 executed 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 trouble hearing a conversation, direct 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 accomplish with the latest hearing aids are truly amazing.
As an example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with smartphones 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 think of any other life-hack cooler or more helpful than that.
What did we miss? What are your preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?