August 1, 2023

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UK Hearing Conservation Association reveals details of second annual conference

The UK Hearing Conservation has announced plans for its second conference to be held in Sheffield on 8 November 2023.

This year’s conference theme is ‘HearWELL’ and the role of hearing conservation in ensuring and driving good health and wellbeing for everyone. This builds on the growing body of evidence and interest in the wider implications of noise on not just hearing health but cognitive function, stress and wellbeing.

Recognising the opportunity to prevent harm and improve people’s lives and longevity through simple actions, this year, the multi-disciplinary approach looks to join forces across disciplines of occupational and public health.

This year there is a poster session planned alongside the exhibition. Our confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Dalia Tsimpida, Lecturer in Public Health at University of Liverpool;
  • Professor Walter Marcotti, Professor of Sensory Neuroscience, University of Sheffield;
  • Andrew Hounslea, N&V Specialist Inspector HSE;
  • Dr Finola Ryan Honorary lecturer on the Performing Arts Medicine at University College London;
  • Prof Stuart Rosen, Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences and University College London;
  • Talks from the RNID and British Society of Audiology.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Impact of noise pollution on mental health;
  • Gene-based therapy for deafness and age-related hearing loss;
  • updates from the HSE and insight into their emerging research in this area;
  • How sound interferes with the perception of speech and research on dementia.

There will also be a hearing loss and a workshop on health surveillance, and as well an array of exhibitors showcasing noise, health and wellbeing solutions, delegates will be able to experience a ‘spaceship inside the ear’ and enter a virtual acoustic reality in an innovative ‘soundscape booth’.

This conference is relevant to health and safety professionals, occupational health professionals, occupational hygienists, public health professionals and environmental health officers, academics, acousticians, audiologists and all those interested and active in hearing conservation and the protection of health.

If you are interested in attending the conference, you can register here.

About the UKHCA

The UKHCA is a group of passionate and experienced professionals from across a variety of disciplines and associations, brought together to provide a unified and coherent approach to tackling noise and its effects.

Its mission is to prevent damage to our Nation’s hearing health and to reduce other noise-related health conditions by promoting practical, evidence-based and cost-effective solutions. The UKHCA has been established to provide an impetus for action against wholly preventable hearing health harm, both at work and across our society.  Our experience has shown that the approach to managing work-related noise is often based on outmoded ideas and there is a general lack of knowledge about or respect for our hearing and how it can be harmed.

The hearing health problem

Disabling hearing loss currently affects more than 10 million people in the UK and the problem is growing.  By 2031 it is anticipated that 14.5 million people in the UK will have a hearing loss.

Over 1 million workers in the UK are exposed to noise that puts them at risk of hearing damage.  In addition, an increase in social and leisure noise exposure, particularly for younger generations, and an increasingly ageing working population means that more people will exhibit signs of hearing impairment in our workplaces.

Recreational hearing loss is also on the rise primarily as a by-product of rapidly increasing headphone use.  The risk to the hearing of individuals who work in high ambient noise environments and who also wear headsets escalates dramatically, through additional exposure received recreationally at live events or using headphones to listen to music.

  • Hearing impairment results in high personal, societal and economic costs.
  • Hearing loss has a significant effect on communication and may result in exclusion and disadvantage in education, employment, social care and public life.
  • Hearing loss substantially increases the risks of accidental injury.
  • Hearing loss has been shown to increase the risk of developing dementia by up to five times.
  • Hearing loss impacts labour productivity and economic growth, costing the UK an estimated £18 billion in lost productivity and unemployment annually.
  • The UK insurance industry is currently paying £70 million per year in hearing-related claims and there has been a substantial increase in the number of claims for noise-induced hearing loss in recent years.

Click here to read a blog by Stephen Wheatley, a Founder Director of the UK Hearing Conservation Association, on the noise at work regulations.

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