U of Michigan, Apple team up on hearing health research study

Apple partnered with the University of Michigan School of Public Health to test hearing health and noise exposure using Apple's Noise app, which measures noise levels and alerts users when a noise may be dangerous to their hearing. 

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor worked with Apple to analyze thousands of iPhone and Apple Watch users in the U.S., according to a March 2 news release. The findings are being shared with the World Health Organization's Make Listening Safe initiative.

Around 10 percent of participants have hearing loss diagnosed by a professional, with 75 percent of those participants not using assistive support like a hearing aid. 

Seven study findings:

  1. Fifty percent of participants had their hearing checked in the last 10 years.

  2. Twenty-five percent of participants experience daily environmental sound exposure, such as traffic noises or heavy machinery, which is higher than the WHO's recommended limit.

  3. Nearly 50 percent of participants work, or previously worked, in loud environments.

  4. Headphone exposure for 1 in 10 participants is higher than the WHO's recommended limit.

  5. Twenty percent of participants showed signs of hearing loss based on WHO standards, compared to the 10 percent professionally diagnosed.

  6. Ten percent of participants have hearing loss consistent with noise exposure.

  7. Twenty-five percent of participants experience ringing in their ears at least a few times per week.

To read the full release, click here.

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