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

Clever but simple life-hacks include rotating your toaster on its side to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using 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: examples include scratching your ear to alleviate an itch in your throat, lying on your left side to alleviate acid reflux, and pushing your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth to relieve brain freeze from ice cream.

But what about hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can exploit to allow us to hear better or with less effort? It turns out that there are several—here are our selections for the top 7.

1. Assess your hearing on the web

You can quickly test for hearing loss with one of the many apps available online, or by taking the online hearing test on our website. If the final results suggest hearing loss, you can subsequently book a professional hearing test with your local hearing care provider.

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

Research suggests that employing white noise can help you sleep better as it helps to establish a bedtime habit, keeps the room quiet, and helps “turn off” your busy brain.

3. Use custom earplugs to prevent hearing loss

Prolonged and recurring exposure to any sound above 85 decibels can result in irreparable hearing loss (rock concerts can achieve over 100 decibels). Using custom made earplugs is an easy way to protect against hearing injury, and the most current earplugs can retain sound quality while limiting volume. Call your local hearing care provider 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 states that as you double the distance from the source of sound the intensity of the sound falls by 75 percent. So, in lieu 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 music player with earbuds, keep the volume at 60 percent of the maximum volume for not more than 60 minutes per day to avoid hearing loss.

6. Favor your right ear for conversations

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 hearing a conversation, direct your right ear towards the speaker.

7. Regulate your hearing environment

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

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

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