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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 simple you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t already thought of them.

Clever but straightforward life-hacks include rotating your toaster on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing 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 even apply to the body: some examples include scratching your ear to alleviate 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.

But what about our hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can employ to help us hear better or easier? It turns out that there are several—here are our picks for the best 7.

1. Test your hearing using the internet

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

2. Make use of white noise to sleep better

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

3. Use custom made earplugs to prevent hearing loss

Extended and repeated exposure to any sound above 85 decibels can create permanent hearing loss (rock concerts can reach over 100 decibels). Wearing custom made earplugs is an easy way to protect against hearing damage, and the latest earplugs can safeguard sound quality while reducing volume. Call your local hearing care professional for more information.

4. Protect 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 source of sound the strength of the sound falls 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 sustaining 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 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 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 trouble following a conversation, direct your right ear towards the speaker.

7. Regulate your hearing environment

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

For instance, some hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with mobile phones or digital watches. That means the user can inconspicuously fine-tune volume and settings for each situation—in essence, the user can literally regulate the sound environment. We can’t come up with any other life-hack cooler or more helpful than that.

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

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