Newsletter – Autumn/Winter 2023

  • Winchester branch 100th birthday

    Our staff past and present and many of our patients came to enjoy a delightful afternoon at our Winchester branch, replete with cheese, wine, scrumptious cakes, and captivating performances by the talented artists from Blue Apple Theatre in honour of this momentous milestone. We were delighted that Angela Clear, Mayor of Winchester was able to join us, and Winchester Radio were also in attendance.

    We held a raffle to support Blue Apple Theatre, brimming with fabulous prizes generously donated by local Winchester businesses including a star prize of a beautiful jewellery set from Jeremy France Jewellers, and many additional prizes from Ben's Pilates, Piecaramba, Rick Stein, ME Collective, Associates Hair, The Body Shop, and more. Furthermore, we hosted a "Guess the Name of the Bear" competition, affectionately named 'Alfred' in tribute to our founder, Alfred Rawling. The raffle was a resounding success, raising £960 for Blue Apple Theatre, which Rawlings doubled and rounded up to a £2000 donation. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated in the raffle. Blue Apple Theatre is a local charity, offering acting, singing, and dancing opportunities to individuals with learning disabilities.

    Claire Shipway talked to us about the history of Rawlings Opticians & Hearing Care and her career which has spanned over 45 years from junior stockroom worker at the age of 16 when Rawlings was a much smaller enterprise through her training as a Dispensing Optician, rise to Manager of Chandlers Ford branch then to her current position as HR director and Company Chair. Of course, although our Winchester branch is 100 years old the company is actually 127 years old with Croydon being the first branch, opening in 1895. 

    The event was a huge success, marking a significant milestone for Rawlings Opticians & Hearing Care paving the way for the next remarkable 100 years!

  • New luxury brands

    This Summer at Rawlings we saw the introduction of iconic fashion brands Gucci, Saint Laurent, Dunhill, Chloe, and Mont Blanc. This strategic move reflects Rawlings' commitment to providing discerning clientele with the latest in high-end eyewear fashion and cutting-edge optical technology.

    Gucci, synonymous with luxury and innovation, brings its signature blend of Italian craftsmanship and contemporary style to Rawlings. With spectacle frames that exude sophistication, Gucci is poised to become the go-to choice for fashion-forward individuals seeking a perfect marriage of form and function.

    YSL and Saint Laurent, the epitome of Parisian chic, will grace Rawlings' shelves with its classy eyewear collection. Known for its timeless elegance and refined aesthetics, YSL eyewear is poised to be a statement piece for those who appreciate understated luxury.

    Dunhill, a quintessential British brand, has a legacy of bespoke tailoring and timeless design which it brings to the eyewear realm. You will find frames that exude class and refinement, appealing to those with a penchant for traditional yet contemporary style.

    Chloe, with its bohemian spirit and feminine allure, will add a touch of romanticism to our repertoire. Their eyewear collection, characterised by graceful lines and subtle detailing, will resonate with those who seek a blend of whimsy and sophistication.

    Mont Blanc, renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship and dedication to precision, is set to become the choice for individuals who appreciate the finer things in life. The brand's eyewear line reflects a commitment to quality and style, making it a natural fit for the discerning.

    With the addition of these esteemed brands, Rawlings Opticians reaffirms its position as a pioneer in eyewear fashion and a destination for those seeking the epitome of style and quality. The arrival of Gucci, YSL, Dunhill, Chloe, and Mont Blanc heralds a new era of eyewear excellence at Rawlings, inviting clients to explore a world of unparalleled luxury for their eyes.

  • Hoya Sync ΙΙΙ Lenses: A solution for digital screen users

    Eye tiredness and discomfort with screen use is an increasingly common phenomenon in line with our increase in screen use at all ages. Hoya, a leading global optical company have responded to the rise in digital eye strain and responded with an innovative solution - Hoya Sync ΙΙΙ lenses.

    Sync III are specifically designed to provide relief from digital eye strain for a younger age group and offer a relieving and comfortable visual experience These lenses are an addition to their portfolio of lenses for screen use with older adults. There’s no need to swap glasses when not using a screen as they can also be used for everyday activities. Embracing Hoya Sync ΙΙΙ lenses can lead to a host of advantages for those who frequently use digital devices or suffer from digital eye strain.

    The Benefits of Hoya Sync ΙΙΙ Lenses

    • Enhanced Visual Comfort: The specialised design of Hoya Sync lenses reduces eye strain and fatigue, offering a more comfortable and enjoyable visual experience
    • Clear Vision at All Distances: The digital zone optics ensure smooth transitions between near and intermediate vision, allowing wearers to see clearly at all distances
    • Reduced Blue Light & UV Exposure: The Blue Light Filter coating protects the eyes from blue light emitted by digital screens as well as a protective UV filter
    • Customised Precision: With Hoya Free-Form Technology, each pair of lenses is personalised, providing wearers with accurate and distortion-free vision

    In conclusion Hoya Sync ΙΙΙ lenses have quickly gained popularity for their ability to alleviate digital eye strain and provide a clear and comfortable visual experience for the under 45 age group. As we continue to rely on digital devices in our daily lives, investing in eyewear that addresses the specific challenges posed by the digital age becomes increasingly crucial.

    For more information see our recent blog or come into your local branch and talk to one of our expert dispensing team.

  • Feedback winners

    We started trading in 1895 and celebrated our 125th year in 2021. With the small budget that comes with being independent, we choose to spend it on employing high quality staff and investing in new technology rather than expensive advertising campaigns, so we rely on personal recommendations and individual reviews to grow our business.

    We have had three winners of our feedback competition this year to thank them for supporting an independent business by coming to Rawlings Opticians. Congratulations to our winners Mr Cherukattu (Alton) and Mrs Liudmyla Berezova (Chandlers Ford) and Sonia If you would like to be in the chance of winning back the cost of your glasses, contact lenses of eye care up to the cost of £250, then just spend a few short minutes filling in a review by clicking this link -

    For more chances to win please feel free to review us on Facebook

    Or tag us on Instagram - @rawlingsoptic

  • Alton branch relocation

    Rawlings Opticians first opened in the town of Alton in 1961, after successfully operating in 8 other locations within Hampshire and Surrey.

    Alton is a thriving market town, with a long history, great transport links and four industrial estates. It made perfect sense for us to open a practice there 62 years ago and we have been a fixture on the High Street ever since, starting on the same side of the High Street as we have now moved back to! 

    This year in July we saw the opportunity to relocate again, just along from our previous location on the other side of the street. Our beautiful new premises have given us the opportunity to have a refresh, to create a sleek new look and expand our services to offer audiology – so we have our new name Rawlings Opticians & Hearing Care above our door.  We celebrated the move with an open day. There were glasses of bubbles and lots of nibbles, and a celebration cake decorated with an historical image of one of our first branches. We had a raffle in which we raised money for Vision Aid Overseas.

    If you are passing by, please pop into the team and say hello. We have lots to see, with spectacle brands such as Gucci, Dunhill, and Lindberg and sunglasses by Maui Jim and sports brand Bolle as well as our own range of prescription sunglasses.

    Book your next eye examination or hearing test here.

  • Hearing and dementia

    Two landmark studies appeared in the Lancet Public Health in 2023: in February 2023 a meta-analysis involving nearly 127000 participants then in April 2023 of a study into hearing loss and dementia which had almost 48000 participants.

    The results showed that Individuals with mild uncorrected hearing loss were found to be up to twice as likely to develop dementia as those with normal hearing, while those with severe hearing loss had up to a fivefold increased risk.

    People with hearing loss who used hearing aids had an 19% lower risk of cognitive decline and a 17% lower risk of dementia, compared with those with uncorrected hearing loss.

    Considering these findings, and with dementia cases predicted to increase from todays UK figure of almost 1 million rising to 1.6 million by 2050, early intervention for hearing loss is becoming increasingly important. Hearing aids can significantly improve an individual's hearing abilities, potentially reducing the cognitive load associated with hearing impairment.

    The mechanisms underpinning this hearing loss-dementia nexus are multifaceted. One theory suggests that the cognitive effort expended in deciphering speech in noisy environments can lead to brain fatigue and mental exhaustion, potentially diverting cognitive resources away from other vital brain functions, thereby expediting cognitive decline. Furthermore, hearing loss can contribute to social isolation and diminished participation in intellectual activities, factors associated with cognitive deterioration. Reduced sensory input from the auditory system may also lead to structural and functional changes in the brain over time.

    A promising line of research delves into the potential role of neurodegeneration, with some studies suggesting shared underlying mechanisms between hearing loss and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, such as the accumulation of toxic brain protein aggregates. This raises the prospect that addressing hearing loss may positively impact the prevention or delay of dementia.

    In light of these revelations, early intervention for hearing loss has gained significance. Hearing aids and similar devices can substantially enhance hearing abilities, potentially alleviating the cognitive burden associated with hearing impairment. Timely use of these devices may help preserve cognitive function and overall quality of life in older individuals.

    This research underscores the importance of regular hearing screenings for older adults, as hearing loss can progress subtly and go unnoticed for years. Identifying and addressing hearing problems early may play a pivotal role in mitigating the risk of dementia.

    You can explore our online hearing test or schedule a complimentary hearing appointment at your local Rawlings Opticians & Hearing Care branch.