The combination of tightly integrated Apple hardware and software, a huge user base, and Apple’s Research app is enabling the kind of large-scale studies that were previously infeasible. Current studies include the Apple Women’s Health Study, the Apple Heart and Movement Study, and—in the news now—the Apple Hearing Study, conducted in partnership with the University of Michigan to help advance the understanding of how sound exposure levels over time can impact your hearing, stress levels, and cardiac health. Apple is now sharing data from the hearing study to help people better understand their hearing health.
Hearing health is a big deal—the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that, by 2050, more than 700 million people worldwide will have severe hearing loss. Apple and the University of Michigan are also sharing data with the WHO’s Make Listening Safe initiative.
Apple found that many of its users are at risk of hearing loss. 25% of participants were exposed to a daily average sound level over WHO recommendations. Average weekly headphone exposure was higher than the WHO recommendations for about 10% of participants. 20% had some sort of hearing loss, 10% had hearing loss likely caused by noise exposure, and 25% of participants said they experience ringing in their ears a few times a week or more, which could be a sign of hearing damage.
In short, turn that volume down and take advantage of the options in Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Headphone Safety!