It almost sounds like science fiction – sound waves, electrical signals and gravity detectors – but its everyday language for Thames Valley’s newest doctor of audiology.
Paul Catlow has been working with ears for three decades, starting around 1991 in the United Kingdom.
“Back then it was really just training on the job, and back then, you could still give people ear trumpets, believe it or not.”
He worked in big London hospitals such as Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, and moved to Fort Lauderdale in Florida to undertake a doctorate degree. He was head-hunted by a previous employer in Auckland, but has now been working at Total Hearing Care in Thames for one month.
Total Hearing Care, located in Sealey St, offers hearing tests, hearing aids, and wax removal.
With Paul on board, they will now be able to provide specialist care, including tinnitus management, as well as assessment and management of auditory processing in both adults and children.
Being able to provide additional services for Thames Valley residents was “empowering”, he said.
“Just because people live here, that shouldn’t mean they have to travel to Auckland to get great care. That should be a give-in.”
Paul has also worked with cochlear implants – small, electronic devices that help provide a sense of sound to a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing – and said seeing people hear for the first time was a highlight of his career.
“And I love working with the elderly,” he said.
“I once saw a little old lady and all she ever did was come in and cry, but we slowly got talking. It transpired that she was in the Dutch resistance in the war, and she used to blow up trains, and she was telling me the right and wrong way to blow up a train.
“That was a surprise, and that’s what I love,” Paul said. “They enrich my life so much with their stories.”
Paul, who lives in Ngatea with his wife, said the new job allowed him to travel to Coromandel, Tairua, and Paeroa.
He was looking forward to building up the trust of new patients.
“The big thing about the ears that people don’t realise is, you hear with your brain. As you age, yes, your ears aren’t as good, but the brain’s ability to process sound drops off as well.
“The key thing about that is there are things you can do about it.”
To get in touch with Paul and the team at Total Care Hearing, visit www.totalhearingcare.co.nz or phone 0800 326 626.
By KELLEY TANTAU
PHOTO: Paul Catlow, right, with the team at Total Hearing Care in Thames, Rachel Ellis and Renee Bergersen. Photo/KELLEY TANTAU