On the 30th March 2022 the Royal Academy of Engineering hosted the 103 week delayed Hear for Tomorrow event! The event was jointly organised between the Institute of Acoustics and the UK Hearing Conservation Association with support from the UK Acoustics Network (UKAN).

The programme started with a welcome from Professor Stephen Dance (London South Bank University) and Dr David Greenberg (Eave/UKHCA). Chris Steel from the Health and Safety Executive detailed recent changes to noise regulations and the role of the regulator. Dominque Perrissin-Fabert then gave an overview of the journey the Royal Opera House had taken with regard to hearing protection.

The second session focused on solutions and began with a presentation from Dr Rob Shepheard (James Paget Hospital) and Dr Finola Ryan (UCL Hospital). Dr Shepheard gave a clinical view of an early diagnosis tool; Otoacoustic Emissions which was used to assess the hearing of Royal College of Music students. This was followed by Dr Ryan’s update on the new British Association of Performance Arts Medicine Hearing Conservation Guidance. Dr Tobias Goehring (University of Cambridge) then gave a virtual presentation on the technological improvements in hearing devices, in particular machine learning to improve speech in noise.

The presentations continued with Professor Stephen Dance, presenting on otoacoustic emission testing with the Royal Academy of Music. He showed how the categorisation breakdown (normal, mild, severe) of the musicians closely matched the HSE guidance when OAE tests were used. This was followed by Dr Adam Hill (University of Derby) on recently introduced WHO guidance on Entertainment noise in an outdoor setting.  The final talk of the session was an engrossing virtual presentation by Professor Colleen Le Prell (University of Texas) on Noise Induced Hearing Loss: Pathophysiology, Treatment and Prevention focusing on animal studies.

The final session commenced with the virtual keynote by Professor Kathleen Campbell (University of Southern Illinois) on results from a new pharmacological solution to noise induced hearing loss, D-MET. Kathy outlined the 23 year journey to test a pharmacological preventative measure and the challenges of medical trials within the military.  The final thought-provoking presentation was given by Dr Noe Jimenez (University of Valencia) on brain therapy using acoustic holograms to treat neurological conditions using ultrasound, which was literally mind blowing! The event ended with a discussion panel talking about the future direction of hearing conservation led by Francis Rumsey.

The evening session allowed delegates to discuss ideas with exhibitors; Minuendo showed off their new lossless musician focused multi-filtered earplug; Casella their latest Bluetooth enabled octave band dosimeter, and Path Medical/Hearing Coach demonstrating their otoacoustic emission hearing assessment instrumentation.