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Your Apple Watch: A Tool for Preventing Hearing Loss

As technology continues to evolve, devices like the Apple Watch are proving to be invaluable in managing not just our schedules and fitness but also our overall health.

Your Apple Watch: A Tool for Preventing Hearing Loss

by | May 17, 2024 | Hearing Loss

In our increasingly tech-driven world, gadgets like the Apple Watch are becoming essential tools for managing our health.

Surprisingly, one of the lesser known yet highly beneficial features of the Apple Watch and iPhone is their ability to protect users from potential hearing damage.

The Growing Concern of Hearing Loss

It’s alarming to note that an estimated 37.5 million adults in the US have trouble hearing, according to the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

The risk is significantly higher in men, who are twice as likely to suffer from hearing impairments. This makes hearing loss one of the most prevalent health issues that often goes unnoticed until it becomes severe.

How Your Apple Devices Can Help

Both the iPhone and Apple Watch come equipped with features that measure ambient and headphone noise levels – tools that are easy to use and can be life-changing in managing your auditory environment.

These devices help monitor noise exposure in real-time and provide warnings when the noise levels could potentially harm your hearing.

Understanding Noise Levels

Apple outlines that repeated exposure to sounds above 80 decibels (dB) can lead to permanent hearing damage. To put this into perspective:

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At 80 dB, roughly the noise level of city traffic, exposure should be limited to about 5 hours and 30 minutes per day.

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At 90 dB, the noise of a lawnmower, safe exposure drops to around 30 minutes a day.

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At 100 dB, the volume of a loud concert, even a few minutes of exposure can be risky.

Checking Decibel Levels with Your Apple Devices

On the iPhone:

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Go to Settings > Control Center and add the Hearing control if it’s not already there.

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Connect your headphones and open Control Center to view the decibel levels through the ear icon.

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You can set up alerts for loud sounds via Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Notifications.

On the Apple Watch:

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The dedicated Noise app on the Apple Watch allows for ambient noise level checks right from your wrist. Enable it through the iPhone’s Apple Watch app under Noise settings.

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For headphone noise levels, swipe up on the watch face to open Control Center and tap the ear icon.

Why This Matters

Using these features proactively can significantly mitigate the risk of hearing loss. Whether you’re commuting, attending a concert, or just listening to music on a run, being aware of the noise around you and how it affects your hearing health is crucial.

Beyond the Gadget

While these tools provide excellent preliminary support, they’re not a substitute for professional hearing care. For those experiencing signs of hearing loss or consistent exposure to high noise levels, consulting with a hearing specialist is advised.

As technology continues to evolve, devices like the Apple Watch are proving to be invaluable in managing not just our schedules and fitness but also our overall health. The integration of health-monitoring technologies in everyday devices empowers us to take better care of ourselves, including our valuable sense of hearing.

Remember, protecting your hearing today ensures that you remain attuned to the sounds that bring life to your world tomorrow. If you have concerns about your hearing or want to learn more about how you can use technology to protect it, don’t hesitate to reach out to a specialist or consider scheduling a hearing evaluation.

Schedule Your Hearing Evaluation Today

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Gregory Frazer, PhD, AuD, CCC-A, ABA, NBC-HIS

Adjunct Professor UCSD/San Diego State U Audiology Program Adjunct Professor University of Pacific Audiology Program Adjunct Professor AT Still University Audiology Program Adjunct Professor Pacific University Audiology Program Dr. Gregory Frazer entered private practice Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing in 1982. For 14 years he owned and operated Hearing Care Associates, which had 23 offices and was one of the largest audiology private practices in the U.S. Dr. Frazer is a well-known clinician and teacher and was the first audiologist to obtain dual doctorates in Audiology, both a PhD. in Audiology as well as the new Clinical Doctorate of Audiology, the AuD. He is Board Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, American Academy of Audiology, and the National Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. Dr. Frazer specializes in the evaluation and treatment of vertigo, dizziness, and hearing and balance disorders. Dr. Frazer is experienced in working with infants, children, and adults. He is semi-fluent in Spanish and Sign Language.

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