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Photo: Kickstarter

One in five American teens suffers from a slight hearing loss and one in 20 from a more severe loss, in what are respectively 30% and 77% increases compared to 20 years ago, according to a study by the American Medical Association. The cause of this increase is believed to be the mass use of headphones that began to spread in the 1990s.

Hearing loss, which is permanent, can have dramatic consequences, especially for a teenager. It can lead to reduced speech perception, affect the ability to learn and hinder the development of social skills.

With this in mind, the World Health Organization will host the First World Congress on Ear and Hearing Care in India’s New Delhi in February 2015.

But more concrete measures are already being taken. The American company 1964Ears is launching its new product called “RealLoud Technology”, which its founders say is “the world's first and only patented in-ear technology that safely delivers a louder, more spacious and richer sound — all while minimizing the risk of hearing loss from personal listening devices.”

The particularity of this device is that they include a secondary artificial eardrum to protect our natural eardrums. These shields will absorb “the harmful pneumatic pressures produced by earbuds,” all the while delivering deeper bass, clearer midrange and richer highs than ever, the company declares.

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Photo: Kickstarter

Unlike traditional headphones, RealLoud technology does not tighten in-ear muscles or compress the volume. This makes it possible to listen to clearer music at a lower but more dynamic level.

These headphones are currently being funded through a Kickstarter campaign. For those who pledge at least $1,000, the company also offers custom hand-made sets to perfectly fit the ears of the listener.

With 25 days to go until the end of the backing period, the project, which was launched by Stephen D. Ambrose, the founder of Asius Technologies and the inventor of the wireless in-ear monitors used by musicians, has already raised more than $320,000, smashing its initial target of $200,000. This latest expression of the desire to enjoy music without worrying about one’s ears is something we hear loud and clear.

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How Turkey Can Bring Its Brain Drain Back Home

Turkey heads to the polls next year as it faces its worst economic crisis in decades. Disillusioned by corruption, many young people have already left. However, Turkey's disaffected young expats are still very attached to their country, and could offer the best hope for a new future for the country.

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-Analysis-

ISTANBUL — Turkey goes to the polls next June in crucial national elections. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is up against several serious challenges, as a dissatisfied electorate faces the worst economic crisis of his two-decade rule. The opposition is polling well, but the traditional media landscape is in the hands of the government and its supporters.

But against this backdrop, many, especially the young, are disillusioned with the country and its entire political system.

Young or old, people from every demographic, cultural group and class who worry about the future of Turkey are looking for something new. Relationships and dialogues between people from different political traditions and backgrounds are increasing. We all constantly feel the country's declining quality of life and worry about the prevalence of crime and lawlessness.

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