Project by: Shelley Bartlette

Shelley Bartlette is urging parents to start talking to their children about the damaging effects of too much loud noise on hearing. Shelley, who developed tinnitus 2 years ago, believes she could have prevented the incurable condition had she been aware of the irreversible affects of too much loud noise exposure.

Shelley said “I genuinely didn’t realise that loud noise could be so harmful on my hearing and now I have lost silence forever. I can’t turn back the clock, but I can use my experience to help others avoid tinnitus”.

Shelley, who works as a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, has recently launched an app for iPhone called Tinnitus Awareness, aimed at parents with young children. Shelley said “I wanted to raise awareness of tinnitus caused by loud noise and provide parents with the facts so they can help protect their children’s hearing for life”.

The app is designed to be both informative and fun, in the hope of parents and their children learning about noise levels together. It includes an interactive sound meter that sees a customisable cartoon face change from happy through to sad depending of the noise level. The device also vibrates in the parent’s pocket to warn them where noise levels are potentially damaging and offers advice and guidance. Tinnitus Awareness isn’t about avoiding noise, it is about raising awareness and understanding of noise limits. Parents really can make a difference to the future of their children’s hearing and the earlier they start talking about this, the better.

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