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# ears - Sunday 3 December, 2017

Why do your ears hang low? New research shows the answer to that question can be very complicated

New research gives a glimpse into how different genes interact to produce traits.

# ears - Friday 5 June, 2015

Kieran's life-changing new ears are made from his ribs

He was born without ears, but surgery has changed his life.

# ears - Monday 3 June, 2013

“What’s that, dear?”: The science of selective hearing

Ever tuned out of one conversation just to listen in on another? Course you have.

# ears - Sunday 2 June, 2013

Concern over backlog for cochlear implants

Parents campaigning on the issue still hope to meet the Health Minister over the issue of bilateral cochlear implants for children.

# ears - Thursday 19 August, 2010

NEW RESEARCH by a hospital in Boston has shown that hearing loss is on the up for teenagers – and suggests that the era of the personal stereo and iPod is to blame.

The findings, which compared two nationally representative surveys from the United States, showed that the rate of hearing difficulties in today’s teens is 31% higher in 2005 to 2006 then it was between 1988 and 1994.

Almost one in five teenagers now complain that they can’t discern words in whispered conversations, or hear leaves rustling in the distance.

While most of the hearing loss was mild, it is implied that the ‘Era of Earphones’ – the prevalence and increasing affordability of the personal stereo and later the MP3 player – is to blame, with overexposure to loud noises a key factor in the problems.

Girls were found to be significantly less likely than boys to demonstrate any loss of hearing – possibly suggesting that the louder genres of music typically favoured by young men could be to blame.

The report says:

Some risk factors, such as loud sound exposure from listing to music, may be of particular importance to adolescents.

Though it imposes limits on the volume that devices sold in Europe can produce, the European Commission warns that one in ten 30-year-olds could be wearing a hearing device within ten years because they listen to music at excessive volumes.

Indeed, Britain’s Royal National Institute for Deaf People found that two thirds of earphone wearers listen to music at a volume louder than the suggseted European limit.

Surveys show that more than 90% of teenagers in the western world use MP3 players – of which the iPod is the bestselling model – and often for several hours a day at maximum volume.

Hearing experts have recommended the ’60-60′ rule: that iPod owners avoid listening to no more than 60 minutes at a time, and at 60% of maximum volume.