Woman cupping had around ear

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 easy you’ll wonder why you hadn’t already thought of them.

Innovative but straightforward life-hacks include flipping your toaster sideways to make a grilled cheese sandwich, using the sticky part of sticky notes to clean in between the keys of a keyboard, and using duct tape to open jars.

Life-hacks can also pertain to the body: examples include scratching your ear to relieve 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 alleviate brain freeze from ice cream.

But what about your hearing? Are there any life-hacks we can exploit to allow us to hear better or easier? It turns out that there are quite a few—here are our picks for the top 7.

1. Check your hearing using the internet

You can rapidly test for hearing loss with one of the several apps available online, or by completing the online hearing test on our website. If the findings imply hearing loss, you can subsequently book 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 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 exposure to any sound higher than 85 decibels can trigger irreparable hearing loss (rock concerts can reach over 100 decibels). Using custom made earplugs is a simple way to prevent hearing damage, and the latest earplugs can retain sound quality while reducing volume. Contact your local hearing care provider 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 source 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 loudspeakers as much as you can (while maintaining a good view).

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

If you listen to a portable 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 conversations

A study conducted 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 understanding 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 appropriately improve hearing in the presence of hearing loss—and the things you can perform with modern day hearing aids are truly extraordinary.

As an example, some hearing aids are wireless and can be controlled with mobile phones or digital watches. As a result, the user can inconspicuously adjust volume and settings for each scenario—in essence, the user can literally control the sound environment. We can’t find 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)?