Specsavers Audiology, which has seven dedicated audiology centres in Specsavers stores across New Zealand, officially opened in Whanganui on October 30.
Kit Enriquez, the owner of the Whanganui audiology branch, has a Masters of Clinical Audiology from University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines, and has worked as an audiologist in the Whanganui-Manawatū area for several years.
"Being an audiologist puts me in the great position of being able to make a positive impact on a person's life, as well as those around them, by reconnecting them with family and friends, and giving them the confidence to enjoy social situations and day-to-day life," Enriquez said.
Enriquez said the new clinic, in a room within the Specsavers optometry store on Victoria Ave, is fully equipped as any audiology practice would be.
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"We have a sound-treated booth and panellings that absorb noise for proper testing," he said.
"When people come in, we have screening that we'll do, and if we see there is some hearing loss there, I'll have a chat with them and see what we can do."
Enriquez believes the biggest barrier to hearing care is the cost of the service, and subsequent costs such as hearing aids.
"People have shopped around and wanted to do something about their hearing, but when they learn of the cost of a hearing aid, they worry they don't have enough money.
"Here, they can get hearing aids for 60 per cent of the price that our competitors offer."
Enriquez said the most important piece of advice he could give to someone who was struggling with their hearing was to simply ask for help.
"Just come and talk to us. We're here to guide you."