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Essential insight New technology Meet the team and much more...



with the new issue of


e’re delighted to bring you the first edition of our magazine highlighting all the latest news from The Hearing Care Partnership. Inside you’ll find a wealth of features, from important insights about your hearing, to a round-up of the latest technology we offer. We hope you enjoy this issue, and we look forward to welcoming you into our branch very soon.

get £50 off when you trade in * your old specs

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ere at Observatory the Opticians, we are proud to offer our customers the very best in technology, products and service. We want everyone who visits us to leave with a smile, looking great, feeling great and confident in us as their optician.

Having the Hearing Care Partnership on board means that we can offer you the same great promise for your hearing as we do for your sight. We look forward to seeing you in the practice soon.

Jonathan Foreman MD


Ipswich • Leigh-on-Sea • Beccles • Southwold • London • Haverhill •


TOPTECH All the latest innovations from the world of hearing technology.

A connected world Universal connectivity – Phonak Audéo™ B-Direct Wirelessly connecting your hearing aid to your smartphone is nothing new, but until now, it’s always been limited to phones from a handful of manufacturers. The new Phonak Audéo™ B-Direct hearing aid makes this limitation a thing of the past, with cutting edge connectivity that enables you to pair your aids with any Bluetooth® phone. Not only can you take calls hands-free, but you’ll hear the phone ringing in your aids and can even answer or reject calls without needing to touch your mobile device.

Make batteries a thing of the past Most advanced just got better – Oticon Opn™

Adjustments at home or away – ReSound LiNX 3D™

The Oticon Opn™ has already established itself as one of the most advanced hearing aids available today: supporting your brain in making sense of sounds, it offers an unparalleled hearing experience that lets you focus on what’s important to you.

ReSound were the first manufacturer to bring ‘Made for iPhone®’ connectivity to their hearing aids, and now include this technology as standard on their latest aid, the LiNX 3D™, enabling you to stream audio from your TV, tablet or smartphone direct to your aids. What’s more, ReSound LiNX 3D™ offers an innovative new system that allows you to send your audiologist feedback on your listening experience in different situations via an app. This means your hearing professional can fine-tune your hearing aids remotely to give you the best possible hearing experience, wherever you are.

With its accompanying smartphone app and internet connectivity, the Opn™ is at the forefront of hearing aid technology. And now, it’s available with a rechargeable option too! A simple and convenient overnight charge provides full power for the next day, with no need to worry about replacing batteries, so you can get straight on with your day. And should you forget to put your aids on charge, it’s no problem – ordinary batteries can be used too. All new and existing Opn mini Receiver-In-The-Ear (RITE) aids can be upgraded to the rechargeable option by your audiologist.

The Oticon Opn™ with charger

Taking tailor-made to the next level Anatomically perfected – Phonak Virto B

Small but mighty – Unitron Moxi Fit R The new Unitron Moxi Fit R brings discretion and style together with convenience and comfort – it’s the world’s smallest rechargeable hearing aid. You get more than 24 hours of listening from one overnight charge, so the Moxi Fit R’s small and discreet size doesn’t mean you compromise on power or usability. A rechargeable battery will last a whole year, so it will also save you from changing up to 100 single use ones – but traditional batteries can still be used as a back-up if needed, for complete peace of mind. The Unitron Moxi Fit R and its stylish colour options


Phonak Virto B hearing aids, built on Phonak’s latest Belong platform, take custom-fit in-the-ear aids to new heights. They are the world's first hearing aid to use Biometric Calibration technology. The unique anatomy of your ear affects how sound is captured and directed, so the Virto B uses more than 1600 data points to calculate the perfect fit for you. This helps to identify sound direction more accurately and give you the best possible hearing experience.

A metal revolution – Phonak Virto B-Titanium The Virto B-Titanium, Phonak’s smallest in-ear hearing aid yet, uses a revolutionary casing of medical grade titanium. Titanium is a hypoallergenic metal, so it causes no irritation or discomfort. It’s also an incredible 15 times stronger than traditional acrylic, so the shell is as thin as 0.2mm in places. Combined with smaller electronic components, the whole aid is 26% smaller than previous generations of Virto devices, giving you a virtually invisible hearing solution.





hearing loss

and why they're NOT TRUE

Charlotte Bufton is a THCP hearing expert who works across many of our network of branches. These are some of the most common misconceptions about hearing loss that she has encountered over the years.

MYTH: It’s easy to tell if you have a hearing loss. FACT: Many people notice the symptoms of hearing loss before the hearing loss itself. Indicators of hearing loss can include:

•D  ifficulty hearing in a restaurant (or any background noise) situation. •A  bility to hear doors slamming in the distance, but problems hearing speech clearly.

MYTH: Hearing aids make your ears lazy.

• L ower energy levels: when you have a hearing loss, listening effort is significantly increased.

If you have hearing loss, the earlier you are fitted with hearing aids the better. Untreated hearing loss results in auditory deprivation, where the brain loses the ability to interpret words due to a lack of stimulation over an extended period of time. Hearing aids provide regular stimulation of the auditory cortex, helping to prevent or reverse auditory deprivation.

•M  ental decline: untreated hearing loss results in less stimulation of the auditory cortex. This accelerates mental decline, resulting in a higher risk of dementia.

FACT: Hearing aids support your brain.

“Hearing changes very gradually, so we get used to missing out on soft sounds.”

MYTH: It’s better to leave wearing hearing aids until your hearing is worse.

MYTH: If you have a hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear most sounds.

FACT: Hearing aids reduce deterioration of hearing.

FACT: Most people with a hearing loss don’t notice difficulty hearing in all situations.

If you wear hearing aids, your auditory pathway is able to function more normally. This results in a slower rate of deterioration in your hearing. Therefore the longer you leave it, the quicker your hearing deteriorates and the more auditory deprivation develops.

Hearing usually changes very gradually so we get used to missing out on soft sounds: leaves rustling, clocks ticking, soft breathing. For most people, hearing deteriorates in the high frequencies, such as ‘s’ ‘sh’ and ‘f’ sounds, resulting in a loss of clarity, rather than volume. This results in: • Speech sounding mumbled.


MYTH: Hearing loss only affects older people. FACT: Our hearing changes from a young age.

•F  atigue: your brain is having to work much harder to establish what people are saying.

•S  ocial isolation: many people will stop enjoying and attending social events because of problems hearing.

Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sound for which there is no external source. This is often a ringing, buzzing or hissing noise. Many people with hearing loss experience tinnitus because the auditory cortex (the hearing part of your brain) receives less stimulation from your ear. Tinnitus often occurs at the same frequency as the hearing loss. In fact, 90% of tinnitus occurs as a result of hearing loss. Many people find that wearing hearing aids prevents them hearing tinnitus. Many hearing aids are now fitted with a tinnitus relief system – speak to one of our audiologists who can advise you on the best hearing aids to help you.

MYTH: There is nothing you can do to help tinnitus. FACT: Tinnitus is often a symptom of hearing loss. Therefore, many people find that wearing hearing aids stops them from being aware of their tinnitus.

Our hearing becomes less sensitive to high frequency sounds from as early as our twenties. 50% of people have a high frequency hearing loss by the age of 50. This can particularly affect the ability to hear in background noise or group situations.

MYTH: A hearing assessment is only for people who have concerns about their hearing. FACT: Hearing and ear health should be monitored at regular intervals, whatever your age. Like visiting the dentist, or having regular eye examinations, it is important to have your hearing and ear health monitored to detect any changes. Every hearing test that you have with us is recorded, allowing us to identify and inform you of any changes over time. It is never too early to have your first hearing check.

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WE ARE HERE TO HELP If you have any questions or concerns about your hearing or that of a loved one, or would simply like more information, you can book a FREE hearing assessment online, call us or visit your nearest branch.

£79 Ts & Cs apply

53 High Street, Southwold IP18 6DJ 01502 723 291 8 Queen Street, Ipswich IP1 1SS 01473 252 595 1 Camps Hill, Haverhill CB9 8HB 01440 761 922 The Corner House, Exchange Square, Beccles NR34 9HJ 01502 713 370

How much sugar should we have in our diets?



With State Registered Dietitian Helen Bond

Added sugar, or newly-termed 'free sugars', is sugar that's been added to food by you or a manufacturer, including natural sugars you get in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juice. For the sake of our waistlines and overall health, Public Health England (PHE) recommends we should be halving the amount we're consuming to no more than 5% of our daily calories – that’s around 30g of sugar (or about 7 teaspoons) a day for adults, and less for children, depending on their age. Naturally occurring sugars, found in whole fruit, vegetables and dairy products, come hand in hand with lots of other useful nutrients, so there’s no need to restrict them in your diet. After all, many of us still fail to reach the recommended 5-A-Day!

Are there ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sugars?


ugar seems to be the buzzword that has gripped the nation over the past couple of years, and how we all should be drastically curbing our sugar habit for the sake of our health. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the latest ‘sugar free’ diet, as a dietitian, it worries me that most people are still very confused about sugar: what is sugar? How much sugar is too much? Are there ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sugars? Does sugar make you overweight or cause diabetes? I am on hand to help demystify sugar, as well as help you make healthier choices without having to cut out all of the sweet stuff.

Is sugar public enemy number one? Sugar is still top of the health agenda for 2018, and with good reason. As a nation, we are all eating and drinking too much of it! The average British adult is getting through around 60g of added sugar a day - the equivalent of around 15 teaspoons. Teenagers are consuming even more than the older generation, 80g or 20 teaspoons for boys and 65g or 16 teaspoons for girls. A spoonful of sugar here and there may seem harmless, but it soon adds up and can boost your daily calorie intake – which if not used up in your day-to-day life will expand your waistline and cause dental disease.

Does sugar cause diabetes? What is sugar? Most of us think of it as simply the white sugar found in the sugar bowl (sucrose), but it comes in many guises. Despite the ballyhoo that surrounds ‘sugar free’ diets, it’s impossible to be completely ‘sugar free’ because sugars are in healthy foods too – yes that’s right! There’s lactose (found in dairy products), glucose and fructose (found in fruits, vegetables and honey) and maltose (found in malted drinks).


If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you need to monitor your sugar and carbohydrate intake to manage your blood sugar levels. Over time, uncontrolled diabetes and persistently high blood sugar levels can damage the network of tiny blood vessels in the eyes and the inner ears, leading to vision and hearing loss. If you don’t have diabetes, sugar intake alone won’t cause you to develop Type 2 diabetes, but too much could lead to you being overweight – one of the main risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. There is also some research that suggests that having too much sugar in the form of sugarsweetened drinks increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Many articles, celebrities, health bloggers, food manufactures and diet ‘experts’ will have you hoodwinked that the best way forward when it comes to cutting down or making products healthier is to switch to ‘natural sugars’ such as honey, coconut sugar and agave nectar. Not so! These ‘natural’ sugars may have a more wholesome image to traditional sugar but no matter what they’re called, any sugar found in a syrup or extract counts as a ‘free sugar’, so you still need to watch your intake to avoid the health pitfalls highlighted above. ‘Sugar is sugar whether it’s granulated, syrup, honey or treacle — a teaspoon of any of them contains the same calories and your body processes it in the same way’.

How to cut down on sugar? Lifelong healthy eating and living is about taking little decisions along the way that balance pleasure and moderation. Most of us want to enjoy a little sweetness in our lives, so, if you have a sweet tooth but are looking to take steps towards cutting your ‘free sugar’ intake - without compromising on taste - check out my easy hints and tips:


easy ways to cut down on sugar

Tip 1

Use sugar wisely. Try not to rely on it and use it cleverly, like making nutritional foods more palatable.

Tip 2

Swap the sugar you add to your tea for a low or zero-calorie sweetener.

Tip 3

Make water or low fat milk your drinks of choice.

Tip 4

Swap sugary desserts for fruit with low fat Greek or Natural yoghurt.

Tip 5

Get baking! Make a few simple changes to your ingredients by substituting fruit purees for some of the sugar.

Tip 6

Watch the alcoholic drinks. Enjoy alcohol free days mid-week, alternating your drinks with water and diet soft drinks, and downsizing your wine glass.

Tip 7

Read labels and wise up on ingredients. When shopping switch to an item that is marked lower in sugar.

Tip 8

Keep fruit juice to one small glass a day. 100% pure fruit juice contains naturally occurring sugars so stick to a small (150ml) glass a day.

Tip 9

Snack on a handful of sweet almonds or walnuts.


Recondition your taste buds. Go for foods with naturally sweet flavours – bananas, berries and other fruits are very healthy choices.

Helen Bond is a freelance State Registered Dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association. She has 20 years' experience working in the NHS, in PR, within the media and across the food and pharmaceutical industries.




PERFECTLY in balance

sore watery OR


Dry eye - everything you need to know.


rom time to time we all feel like our eyes can get dry and tired, but if your eyes regularly feel red, sore and uncomfortable, you might be suffering from dry eye syndrome.

As well as enabling you to hear, your ears perform a host of other functions, including helping you to maintain your balance. Discover how taking care of your hearing can help you stay firmly on your feet.

How do we balance? In a nutshell, three areas of your body work together to help your brain maintain your sense of balance – eyes, limbs and inner ear. Your eyes help you see where you're standing, and orient you within your environment. Sensors in your joints, muscles and tendons help your brain understand the position and movement of your limbs. They work together with the vestibular system in your inner ear, which senses the rotational and linear movements of your head and body, and relays that important information to your brain.

Can hearing loss affect your balance? Problems with your inner ear, such as an ear infection, can mean that hearing loss occurs at the same time as balance impairment – although one does not necessarily cause the other. In addition, hearing loss also reduces your awareness of the environment and can make you more susceptible to falling.

Feeling a little unbalanced? If you think you may be experiencing balance impairment, your first point of contact should be your GP. However, difficulties with balance may also indicate a problem in your inner ear which could also affect your 10 THE HEARING CARE PARTNERSHIP | TALKING POINTS

hearing. So don't ignore it – remember that hearing loss is a gradual process that can progressively impact your quality of life in various ways. The best course of action for hearing concerns is to visit us for your free hearing assessment.

How can your eyes help your balance? Clear vision is essential to help prevent falls and trips. It's worth noting that due to the distortions that are present in bifocal and varifocal lenses, they are not always the most appropriate form of correction for people who are at risk of falls. If you're using bifocals or varifocals, it's crucial that they are correctly fitted to provide clear vision at the relevant distances for walking safely.

Dry eye is common and occurs when your tears evaporate faster than usual, or if your eyes cannot produce enough tears. Tears don’t just flow when you start welling up while watching a sad film, they should always be there, to constantly lubricate your eyes. You can also have dry eyes despite tears rolling down your cheeks – if the tears are of good quality, they stay on the surface of your eyes. Dry eye becomes more common as you get older because we produce fewer tears and our eyelids are less effective in spreading the tears across the surface of our eyes – about 33% of people over 65 experience problems with dry eyes. However, this condition is also becoming more prevalent in young people, and it’s thought to be related to excessive screen use. When we’re looking at a screen we blink less frequently, less fully and at a lower rate, so our tears evaporate and are not spread evenly over the surface of the eyes.

What are the symptoms? WE ARE HERE TO HELP If you have hearing or sight concerns, talk to our experts - book your eye exam or free hearing assessment with us today. If you have balance concerns, please talk to your GP.

If you have itchy eyes, redness, the sensation of having something in your eye, a gritty feeling or watery eyes as they try to over-compensate for the lack of tears, you could have dry eyes. We can diagnose dry eye syndrome by thoroughly discussing your symptoms and making an assessment of the front of your eye (the anterior eye).

This includes a fluorescein or lissamine green dye test. These dyes highlight dry or damaged cells and help us examine the flow of tears.

Why does it happen? There’s no single cause of dry eye syndrome, but there are a number of factors that can contribute. • Underlying medical conditions, such as blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelids), lupus, contact dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis. • Side effects of some medicine, such as antihistamines, antidepressants and diuretics. • For women, dry eye can happen during menopause, pregnancy, or while using the pill. • Due to dry, windy weather or even high altitude. • Central heating and air conditioning will further evaporate tears in the home, office or car. • Following laser eye surgery many people initially are aware of having dry eye. • Activities like reading, writing or working at a computer without breaks. Try blinking regularly to stimulate the flow of tears around your eyes.

How can it be treated? You can make the most of your natural tears by drinking more fluids and staying well hydrated, and eating more foods containing omega 3 and omega 6, such as oily fish, sunflower seeds and walnuts. You can also try artificial tear eye drops. This is a common treatment clinically proven to relieve the gritty, sore sensation of dry eye syndrome.

We can take a look If you have concerns about dry eye syndrome and would like to book a dry eye consultation to find out more, or simply want to try eye drops, contact us, your local eye care experts. THE HEARING CARE PARTNERSHIP | TALKING POINTS


MEETthe audiologists

Keyla de Magalhaes BSc Audiologist

Anna Pugh BA MSc MSHAA RHAD Audiologist & Hearing Therapist

Keyla graduated from the University of Petropolis (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) with an Audiology and speech and Language Pathology BSc degree. Keyla started her career offering both speech therapy and audiological services to patients in both private and public sectors. After working within both the NHS and private sector, she found the most rewarding part of her career was contributing to a patients well-being and selfesteem by looking after their hearing.

For over three decades, Anna has worked in a variety of different audiology environments, from NHS Audiology Clinics in hospitals and the private sector to self-help groups and even an international charity.

“I decided to join The Hearing Care Partnership team, as I have the ability to offer my patients a more personalised service which is tailored to their needs. I also have access to a wide range of hearing aid equipment which gives each customer a true choice, maximising their results. Outside of work I mostly dedicate my time to family and friends and I love taking part in church activities.”

“As part of the THCP team, I’m really enjoying the partnership of combining professional hearing healthcare with local high street opticians, helping people to make the most of their sight and hearing. As a Hearing Therapist I specialise in improving communication skills, from teaching lipreading to learning to make the most of hearing aid technology, and working with people with tinnitus and similar conditions. As an Audiologist I can choose from the latest hearing aid technology to support you and help you make the most of your hearing, keeping you joining in conversations with work colleagues, family and friends, so you don’t miss the important things in life. A Council Member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (BSHAA), our professional body, I can ensure that THCP keeps up to date with developments and research into best audiological practice, and work with colleagues and students to plan for the future of the profession.”


Aphra Dowell Jones MSc RHAD HCPC Audiologist

Safiya Issa BSc RHAD Audiologist

After graduating with a Master’s degree in Audiology from the University of Southampton, Aphra spent seven years working within the NHS. During her time there she was able to use her knowledge and experience to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them to maximise their hearing capabilities.

Safiya graduated from De Montfort University in 2016 with a degree in Audiology. Safiya began her career working across both the NHS and private sectors, helping those with hearing difficulties. After spending time within the NHS, she really began to appreciate the increased amount of time she was able to spend with patients when working privately.

“I’m proud to work for The Hearing Care Partnership, an organisation that puts patient care and experience at the heart of everything they do. As a professional, I enjoy having the time to listen to patients and their requirements in order to complete a fully personalised assessment of their hearing. I’m excited to have access to the latest technologies and be able to offer a solution based on personal preferences that will make a positive difference to a patient’s life, enabling them to continue doing the things they love.” Outside work, Aphra can normally be found with a pair of knitting needles in her hands.

“Working with The Hearing Care Partnership gives me the ability to dedicate more time to my patients. This gives me the opportunity to develop a better understanding of their situation and individual requirements, allowing me to create a personalised plan tailored to their needs. I also have the time to provide continuous aftercare, maintaining a strong support system for them. Outside work I enjoy spending time with my husband and family, and thoroughly enjoy baking sweet treats in my spare time.”





CHECK A guide to our full hearing assessment


ith The Hearing Care Partnership, you can spend up to 90 minutes in our FREE full hearing assessment. This might seem like a long time, but we pride ourselves on ensuring that you receive the very best expert care and will never rush you out of the door. During the assessment, you will get to know your audiologist. They will teach you about hearing loss, check the health of your ears and assess your hearing and ability to process speech sounds. Your results will be explained to you in detail, and we will then discuss any appropriate solutions based on the results.

Speech Testing For most of us, speech is the most important thing to hear as it allows us to engage socially. As we get older, our brains can also become slower to process information, especially when it is having to fill in gaps where we’re not hearing speech clearly. This can make it harder to keep up with conversation. Speech testing allows us to assess your ability to hear and process speech sounds in quiet and noisy conditions. If there are areas you miss, we can discuss the effect this might be having on your ability to understand speech. Your audiologist will be able to recommend tips and solutions to help make sure you don’t miss any of the conversation that’s most important to you.

Checking Your Ear Health

Hearing Aid Demonstration

The first thing your audiologist will do is check the health of your ears. This includes identifying wax, ear infections or any possible blockages, as well as tympanometry, which checks the movement and health of your ear drums. Blockages or infections can be easily treated if identified early, but can cause problems if left untreated. If you ever experience pain or discomfort it could be related to the function of your middle ear. Your hearing professional can test this and offer advice to keep things more comfortable in future.

We understand that the idea of having a hearing aid can be daunting. However, most people are surprised by how discreet, light and comfortable hearing aids now are – you can easily wear hearing aids without anybody noticing! The quality of sound has also improved so significantly over the years, you’ll be amazed at how clearly you can hear… even in busy places. If we identify a hearing loss during an assessment, you’ll be able to try some hearing aids at no cost, set up exactly for you, to get an idea of how they sound, feel and look.

Pure Tone Hearing Test A pure tone test checks your hearing across a range of frequencies. It produces a graph that we store in your record so that any changes in your hearing can be tracked. It allows us to identify very subtle changes in your hearing which often go unrecognised in day-to-day life. These changes commonly affect the clarity of the message being sent to your brain, meaning it must work harder to interpret it. You may not notice your hearing changing, but it can lead to fatigue, frustration and increased listening effort. Pure tone hearing tests can also identify early signs of more serious conditions. 14 THE HEARING CARE PARTNERSHIP | TALKING POINTS

Varifocal Experts Are you having increasing difficulty focusing at close range? Without treatment, you may become prone to eye fatigue and headaches. Varifocals help you to see clearly at all distances, without having to strain or change your glasses. At Observatory the Opticians, we are varifocal experts and can help you choose the best frame and lens for your lifestyle and prescription. We also offer a Total Satisfaction Guarantee and will give you a full refund if you don’t like them.

WE ARE HERE TO HELP If you think that you or a loved one may benefit from a FREE full hearing assessment with one of our expert audiologists, simply call us on 0800 52 00 546 or request an appointment online.

Call us for an appointment today.

The Corner House Exchange Square Beccles NR34 9HJ 01502 713 370

1 Camps Road Haverhill CB9 8HB 01440 761 922

8 Queen Street Ipswich IP1 1SS 01473 252 595

53 High Street Southwold IP18 6DJ 01502 723 291

At The Hearing Care Partnership, our care doesn’t stop after your consultation. We’re here for when you need us, so if you need some advice or want to talk something over, we’re here to listen. For total peace of mind, we provide a 60 day 100% money back guarantee, and all our digital hearing aids come with 3-5 year warranties, free servicing and maintenance, and free batteries for 3-5 years. We understand that hearing aids can be a big investment. To help you spread the cost, ask about our Hear Now, Pay Later Plan. Simply pay a 30% deposit and spread the rest into easy-to-pay instalments, interest free.

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE • Free Hearing Assessments

• Tinnitus Management

• Hearing Aid MOTs

• Hear Now, Pay Later

• Lifetime Aftercare

• Ear Wax Removal from £40

The Hearing Care Partnership Observatory The Opticians Beccles – 01502 558 395 Haverhill – 01440 858 477 Ipswich – 01473 852 015 Leigh-on-Sea – 01702 668 307

0800 52 00 546


Profile for The Hearing Care Partnership

Observatory the Opticians Talking Points Spring 2018  

Talking Points brings you all the latest news from Observatory the Opticians and The Hearing Care Partnership. Inside you'll find great feat...

Observatory the Opticians Talking Points Spring 2018  

Talking Points brings you all the latest news from Observatory the Opticians and The Hearing Care Partnership. Inside you'll find great feat...

Profile for thcp