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

Clever but straightforward life-hacks include shifting your toaster oven on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using the sticky region of sticky notes to clean in 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 relieve an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to lessen 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 your hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can employ to help us hear better or with less effort? As it happens, there are several—here are our selections for the top 7.

1. Assess your hearing online

You can rapidly test for hearing loss using one of the many apps available online, or by completing the online hearing test on our website. If the findings reveal hearing loss, you can then set up a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.

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

Research suggests that using white noise can make it easier to sleep better as it helps to build a bedtime routine, keeps the room quiet, and helps “turn off” your lively brain.

3. Use specialty earplugs to prevent hearing loss

Extended and repeated subjection to any sound higher than 85 decibels can stimulate permanent hearing loss (rock concerts can reach over 100 decibels). Wearing custom made earplugs is an easy way to prevent hearing injury, and the latest 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 end up saving your hearing. The inverse square law specifies that as you double the distance from the origin of sound the strength of the sound falls 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 preserving a good view).

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

If you listen to a portable mp3 music player with headphones, 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 performed over the course of six years by scientists 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 hearing a conversation, turn your right ear toward the speaker.

7. Control your hearing environment

Using hearing aids is probably not considered 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 hearing aids are truly incredible.

For example, a number of hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with smartphones or digital watches. That means the individual can inconspicuously modify 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 valuable than that.


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