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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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

Creative but straightforward life-hacks include flipping your toaster sideways to make a grilled cheese sandwich, utilizing the sticky portion 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 soothe 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 make use of to allow us to hear better or with less effort? It turns out that there are several—here are our selections for the best 7.

1. Test your hearing using the internet

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

2. Utilize white noise to sleep better

Research suggests that employing white noise can help you sleep better as it helps to build a bedtime routine, keeps the room calm, and helps “power down” your active brain.

3. Wear specialty earplugs to prevent hearing loss

Extended and recurring subjection to any sound above 85 decibels can trigger irreversible hearing loss (rock concerts can get to over 100 decibels). Using custom made earplugs is a simple way to prevent hearing damage, and the newest earplugs can retain sound quality while limiting volume. Contact 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 origin of sound the intensity 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 preserving a good view).

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

If you listen to a portable music player with headphones, keep the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for a maximum of 60 minutes per day to prevent hearing loss.

6. Favor your right ear for speech

A study carried out 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 issues following a conversation, turn your right ear toward the speaker.

7. Regulate your hearing environment

Using hearing aids is probably not regarded as a life-hack, but it is the only means to appropriately improve hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can accomplish with modern-day hearing aids are truly extraordinary.

For instance, some hearing aids are wireless and can be operated with smartphones or digital watches. As a result, the user can discreetly fine-tune volume and settings for each circumstance—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 preferred life-hacks (health-related or in general)?