EDUCATION & PREVENTION
Anyone who suffers from tinnitus, hyperacusis, hearing loss and the like knows how stressful hearing impairments can be. To prevent avoidable damage, the Foundation Tinnitus and Hearing Charité focuses on education and prevention. With various projects, we address a wide audience: from children of kindergarten age to older people.
“Monkey Kim and the noisy listening snail” – an illustrated picture book with creative learning games for listening, marveling and comprehending
Millions of children and young people continuously expose their hearing to high levels of noise. But many are not even aware that they are causing long-term and irreversible damage to their hearing through stress, noise, and listening to overly loud music. This is the only way to explain the fact that the number of young people in particular suffering from hearing disorders and tinnitus is growing continuously.
For this reason, the development of learning materials for daycare centers is a focus of our prevention work.
Project area kindergarten
With our picture book “Monkey Kim and the noisy cochlea” for daycare centers, children playfully discover their sense of hearing, learn in dialog with each other how hearing works, how sensitive their own hearing is, what tinnitus and hearing loss sound like, and when a visit to the doctor is important. You will also learn the importance of regular hearing testing to prevent tinnitus from occurring in the first place.
In order to prepare and raise awareness, the children, the educators and the parents are interviewed separately about their own hearing ability and that of the children, as well as about noise pollution on site.
The learning picture book can be used as part of a project week.
Do you work in a daycare center and are interested in the children’s book project? The book is available to order Oct. 1, 2023, from firstname.lastname@example.org.
In spring 2023, thanks to a donation from Berliner Volksbank, the first prototypes of the learning picture books could be produced and used in some Berlin daycare centers as part of project weeks. If you would also like to support the further development of this project, you can donate to our prevention project here.
“I hear something you don’t: tinnitus. Protect your ears”
Studies suggest that tinnitus or other hearing disorders already affect 18 percent of young people. A health mega-problem is emerging here, with all its negative consequences both for those affected and their quality of life, and for society as a whole, which finances the healthcare system.
A prevention campaign by young people for young people without a moralizing finger!
Tinnitus, once it has become chronic, or severe hearing loss cannot be cured; the only way to prevent it from developing is through prevention. That’s why, back in 2012, the Foundation developed the prevention campaign “I hear something you don’t: Tinnitus. Protect your ears”: Supported by 70 dedicated volunteers, it carried out active educational work directly in the risk situation until 2018: at major music festivals as well as at cultural and sporting events.
Our observation is: very many of the young people reached there (a total of 64,000 in the 2012 – 2018 festival seasons) were often not at all or insufficiently informed about the connection between hearing ability and noise exposure. Therefore, the German Foundation Tinnitus and Hearing Charité sees an urgent need to address this particular health risk for children and adolescents as early as possible and has been focusing its prevention work on the development of educational programs for daycare centers and schools since 2019.
Our educational offering on the link between tinnitus and stress: Ear Health in the Workplace
Many clinical studies show a direct link between stress and tinnitus. Stress factors can be perceived individually as a challenge, as an impairment or even as a personal disaster. If people are continuously exposed to stressful situations, for example because the demands and pressure at work become too great, this can not only have negative effects on mental health, but also cause disorders of the hearing function such as tinnitus. This can often place a heavy burden on the quality of life of those affected.
The psychological consequences are considerable: declining performance and creativity, as well as less self-confidence and self-esteem.
In addition, there are fatal economic consequences: The average socioeconomic costs per tinnitus patient:in in Germany amount to 4,798.91 euros per year. With a prevalence of 5.5%, this corresponds to 21.9 billion euros per year.
We would like to do something to counteract this development: Continuous education so that ear health also becomes an issue in the workplace.
Would you like to support us in our prevention and education work? Then you can donate here.
Konstantin Tziridis, Jana Friedrich, Petra Brüeggemann, Birgit Mazurek, Holger Schulze: “Estimation of Tinnitus-Related Socioeconomic Costs in Germany”, in: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10455; August 2022, see: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610455
Education Program “Tinnitus, Social Isolation & Dementia”
People who live in social isolation for a long time have a significantly higher risk of dementia – this is shown by a long-term study published in the journal “Neurology”. According to this, a lack of contact leads to changes in the brain in the long term and increases the risk of developing dementia by around 26 percent!
Older people in particular are affected by social isolation, as they often suffer from old-age hearing loss and/or tinnitus, making it increasingly difficult for them to listen and join in the conversation. As a result, they are withdrawing more and more.
Our information offer for affected persons and their caring relatives
The German Foundation Tinnitus and Hearing Charité is currently developing the education program “Tinnitus & Dementia”. Through targeted information, explanatory videos and counseling services, we want to encourage those affected to talk about their hearing impairment and to have it treated at an early stage. We would like to make you aware of the importance of regular hearing tests, the usefulness of wearing hearing aids if necessary, and which exercises are suitable for promoting cognitive performance. Affected individuals and family caregivers can thus proactively counteract social exclusion and increasing hearing impairment.
Support us with your donation for the development of the Education Program “Tinnitus, Social Isolation & Dementia”. Thank you very much!