Whereas watches have traditionally served one basic function—telling time—nowadays, their applications seem limitless. One area developers have focused on is providing innovative health care solutions, and the Apple Watch is no exception.
Developers are hailing Apple’s Noise app as a great tool in the prevention of hearing loss, a widespread epidemic affecting approximately 48 million Americans. Hearing loss usually occurs gradually, making it difficult for people to know they have a problem.
As wearable technology becomes increasingly popular, the number of features continues to expand.
Apple’s newest update, WatchOS.6, offers the Noise app, of which measures decibel (dB) levels and warns the user when they are exposed to sounds that could potentially damage their hearing. This is accomplished via the watch’s built-in microphone, measuring ambient noise in a wide range of environments including concerts, theaters, sporting events and construction zones. Users are provided with a real-time measurement of the sound and a message stating whether the decibel levels are “Okay” or “Loud.”
The Noise app also offers information on safe exposure times for different decibel levels, letting users know how many minutes they can listen to sounds at 80, 85, 90, 95, and 100 dB—generally considered the “danger zone.” Notifications can be programmed to alert users when sounds measuring between 80-100 dB are occurring.
Because the Noise app is proactive rather than reactive, it enables users to monitor their listening environments and take steps to protect their hearing, such as wearing earplugs when alerted to dangerous sound levels, rather than simply hoping they won’t be affected.
If you have any questions on hearing loss for yourself or a loved one, please call us at (408) 540-7128 or request an appointment.