Home News Apple Shares Preliminary Insights on Recent Hearing Study and Tinnitus

Apple Shares Preliminary Insights on Recent Hearing Study and Tinnitus

Apple Shares Preliminary Insights on Recent Hearing Study and Tinnitus

Apple has recently shared preliminary findings from its ongoing Apple Hearing Study, providing new insights into hearing health and tinnitus. Conducted in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Public Health, the study leverages data collected from Apple Watch and iPhone users across the United States, offering unprecedented insights into environmental noise exposure and its impacts on hearing health.

Key Findings

Noise Exposure and Hearing Loss
The study highlights significant concerns regarding noise exposure among participants. According to the data, 25% of participants experience daily environmental sound levels that exceed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended limits. This exposure includes noise from traffic, public transport, and machinery. Additionally, nearly 50% of participants have worked in noisy environments, increasing their risk of hearing damage​.

Hearing Health Statistics
About 10% of participants have been professionally diagnosed with hearing loss, with 75% of these individuals not using assistive devices like hearing aids or cochlear implants. The study also found that 20% of participants have hearing loss when compared to WHO standards, and 10% have hearing loss attributable to noise exposure. Alarmingly, 50% of participants have not had their hearing tested by a professional in the last decade​.

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Tinnitus Insights
A noteworthy finding from the study is that 25% of participants report experiencing tinnitus—a ringing or buzzing in the ears—a few times a week or more. Tinnitus can be a symptom of hearing damage, emphasizing the need for regular hearing health check-ups​.

Apple’s Role in Hearing Health

Technological Solutions
Apple is at the forefront of providing tools to monitor and improve hearing health. The Noise app on Apple Watch alerts users when they are exposed to sound levels that could impact their hearing. The Health app on iPhone tracks a user’s exposure to environmental and headphone sound levels, comparing them against WHO standards​​.

Accessibility Features
Apple’s devices offer a range of features to support hearing health. The Headphone Accommodations feature allows users to customize audio settings based on personal preferences and audiogram data. AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max provide features like Live Listen, which uses the iPhone as a directional microphone, and Transparency mode, which lets outside sound in to help users stay aware of their surroundings. The Made for iPhone hearing device program supports streaming audio directly to hearing aids and sound processors​​.

Apple’s preliminary findings from the Apple Hearing Study underscore the importance of regular hearing health check-ups and the potential risks of environmental noise exposure. As the study progresses, Apple aims to inform policies to promote hearing health and develop new tools to help users protect their hearing.

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