A range of audiology companies were present at 100% Optical last month to share with practitioners why optometry and audiology is a good partnership, as well as provide advice on how they could integrate the offering into practice.
For audiologist and Amplifon’s training partner in the south east, Rasna Mistry, optometry and audiology are a great fit because “it provides a complete service for the patient,” she said.
Speaking exclusively to OT, Sonova’s business development manager, Steven Ross, explained that the reason that optometry and audiology should meet is because they have the same patient base. “About 97% of over 65-year-olds need some form of vision correction and around 73% of 70-year-olds need some form of hearing correction,” he highlighted.
Mr Ross added that because opticians already have the required patients and database, the cost required to introduce the service is minimal.
Reiterating this, Amplifon’s Ms Mistry added: “Requirements are minimal, all we really need is a quiet room. We can come as often as needed for the consultation and aftercare services.”
Having introduced audiology services into Leightons Opticians 12 years ago, founder of The Hearing Care Partnership, Ryan Leighton, explained: “The more that Specsavers and Boots and other national providers continue to create market awareness to the consumer that these two things go together, the consumer is naturally beginning to think that you go to the opticians and you also have your hearing checked there.”
Drawing on his first-hand experience of audiology at Leightons Opticians, Mr Leighton revealed: “In 2017, 52% of the patients we saw for hearing were brand new to our opticians. Not having hearing would be really expensive for us.”
He added that of the patients attending Leightons for hearing care, 25% become optical customers after a short period of time.