Whether pupils or teachers - more and more affected persons can only deal with everyday life with great psychophysical effort. This increases the risk of tinnitus. Chronic stress can lead to changes in the auditory system and even to permanent damage to auditory cell cells. But how can schools and parents control it? The German Tinnitus Foundation Charité recommends: rest breaks also in school, stress reduction and reconnaissance to the consequences of stress already at a young age.
The pressure is high - in and outside the school
High performance pressure, fully packed timetables and in the worst case a bad class climate - the school day can get really stressful. But children need more rest breaks, even at school. One example of this was the LBS Children's Barometer in January 2015, in which more than half of the children surveyed indicated that the school offered too few opportunities to rest. The children's association advised that parents should closely monitor the signs of irritation, anxiety and psychosomatic complaints of their children, in order to recognize risks at an early stage and to counter stress.
Even now, one year later, this topic is up-to-date: in many federal states the Abiturschrifungen begin. Some of the students are under great pressure during this time - and not just at school. Because the stress does not stop at the school. Even outside, many children and adolescents do not have enough time to relax and are often with the thoughts during examinations and school problems. Fears, depression and sleep disorders can be the result - and more and more students are also suffering from ear-to-ear noise. According to the German Center for the Study of Music Research in Heidelberg, the number of affected children and adolescents has so far been even underestimated: tinnitus occurs in the age group from 14 years onwards as frequently as in adults. The main reasons for this are noise pollution and stress.
Dr. Wolfgang Steininger from the School Psychology Advisory Center of the Berlin-Lichtenberg district reports: "We often have children and adolescents who suffer from the high performance pressure and some even show some initial behavioral problems. They are often exposed to stressful situations for a long time. "The fact that this stress continues outside the school is clear in his daily work:" Many students do not allow themselves to rest after school. Homework, tuition, term impression - often particularly ambitious parents behind it. In addition there is the social pressure to want to insist on the class community, to be informed about news and to be well-connected. So many people come to school after the school graduation with smartphone and Co., which was "missed" in the morning. "Steininger sees the problem above all that many children and teenagers are overstrained with their own time management. There is little time for relaxation.
Teaching staff is also at risk
In many teachers' rooms it looks similar. Teaching and education staff must fill spontaneous person-gaps and teach too many students at once. Added to this are the daily noise in the echoing school rooms and unforgomable working conditions. At least 60% of school teachers surveyed in a study in 2015 said they were able to deal with these burdens significantly, and only to cope with great psychological and physical efforts.5 Classical symptoms of congestion are irritation, fatigue, physical as well as emotional exhaustion - and as a resultalso hearing damage. Very vividly describes the Dr. Steininger: "Not infrequently you can see teachers who keep their ears because they are no longer able to withstand the noise pollution in the school. Have you ever been in a school hall when the break bell rings and hundreds of students are rushing past you through the stairs? Then you know how loud it can be in a school building. "
Tinnitus and stress
Although stress alone does not directly trigger a tinnitus that can have a relevant influence on the tone in the ear, it is now consensus in scientific circles.6 Medical studies show, for example, that tinnitus patients are more frequently under stress thanother ENT patients. In addition, it is often more difficult for those affected with psychological stress to cope with everyday tinnitus. For anyone who is under stress, directs the attention more to the ear noise. How stress can affect the health of the ears, explains Prof. Dr. Mazurek, Director of the Tinnitus Center of the Charité of Berlin and chairman of the Charité Foundation of the German Tinnitus Foundation: "Stress - and especially chronic stress - can have a major role in the development and consolidation of a tinnitus. The increased release of the stress hormone cortisol can trigger changes in the auditory system, which can lead to damage to nerve and auditory cells. "She therefore recommends that" the treatment of tinnitus should also include stress-reducing methods and therapies. "Tinnitus Foundation Charité calls for: to create relaxation breaks and to enlighten
In order to prevent stress and consequences such as tinnitus, it is also advisable to take more rest breaks. Retreats for students and teachers on the school grounds and moments of deceleration are especially recommended."It is crucial to" reduce the level of excitement of children with educational means, "says Dr. Steininger together. Stress-reducing methods, relaxation procedures and also information on the topic of hearing protection should be on the timetable. Although noise prevention can already be found in the curriculum of the 4th and 9th grades, the topic is often taught too rarely. In addition, psychological care is still crucial in order to recognize the risk of overloading and to intervene on time. Above all, however, an awareness of the health risk must be created by too much stress - even at a young age. Information material on ear protection, tinnitus and stress can be requested from the German Tinnitus Foundation Charité.(pm)