Don’t rely on the carrots to help you see in the dark

The dark nights are upon us….

The clocks have changed and the leaves are falling. It can only mean that we are heading to dark nights and winter.  In 2016 a study carried out by the department of transport found that although only 15% of journeys take place between 7 pm and 7 am those journeys equate to 33% of all road deaths and injuries.

Many of us find that driving in dark conditions is much more difficult than driving in good daylight. There is an old myth that carrots help you see in the dark. However, we are not about to advocate eating carrots as a solution. But, there are many things you can do to help with night driving.

What can you do to help?

Firstly the obvious things, keep the windscreen clean and make sure it does not steam up. Make sure your headlights are working. Keep any light source in the car, like the dashboard lights and satnav, turned down. These will make a huge difference immediately.

Rodenstock-Road-glare coating at Allegro Optical
But have you thought about your eyes? In low light levels your pupils become bigger to allow more light into the eye but that increases blur. If you have a small prescription you may not need it during the day, but at night when the pupil enlarges that small prescription can be very noticeable.
This is commonly termed night myopia (ie short-sightedness that affects you in low light levels). A pair of glasses for night driving can really help.

If you already wear glasses making sure you have a good quality anti-reflection finish on your lenses. It helps stop the glare of the oncoming lights causing extra dazzle.

Other eye conditions like undiagnosed glaucoma and early cataracts can also reduce vision at night. These may require treatment to keep your eyesight within legal limits for driving.

Where to start

Your local Opticians is a good place to start if you are struggling with night driving. Allegro Optical can carry out a thorough eye examination and check your eyes are healthy. we can advise you on any spectacles you may need and on the best spectacle lenses for your requirements. Based in Meltham, near Huddersfield and Holmfirth, Allegro Optical offers a full opticians service, both private and NHS. You can book your appointment by calling 01484 907090

About Allegro Music News

Angelo gets his eye back

Geneva Instruments’ Angelo Bearpark get’s his eyes back

Just imagine having a passion in life and it is under threat, all because your eyesight is failing. You’ve spent your whole life pursuing something you love, honing your skill until you’re at the top of your game. Then disaster strikes, you begin to have problems seeing to read.  Looking at your phone becomes difficult and out of focus. When you are a musician things get even more problematic as the music on the stand starts to blur.

Focusing on the problem

This is exactly what happened to world-famous brass band soloist Angelo Bearpark. Angelo who is a Geneva Instruments Performing Artist, Development & Promotional Consultant began to struggle with his vision at 30 cm for a mobile phone reading, and about 40 cm when reading menus and for eating etc. He tried varifocals but they were far from ideal. Out of desperation, Angelo turned to refractive laser surgery in 2005. To make the multiple working distances easier, Angelo opted for monovision LASIK surgery to reduce the need for reading glasses. Using this technique, the surgeon fully corrects the distance vision of one eye (usually the dominant eye), and intentionally leaves the nondominant eye mildly short sighted.

Angelo Bearpark Geneva Instuments artist gets his glasses at Allegro Optical

A temporary fix

This solution worked well at first but over the course of time, Angelo began to struggle again, this time with his mid-range. In fact exactly where his music stand is. A disaster for a musician, but especially so for a player of Angelo’s calibre.

In addition to teaching in his music school Angelo, works as a music consultant with a variety of ensembles. Like many mature musicians, he became increasingly frustrated with his focusing problems when playing and teaching.

Whit Friday in Saddleworth

Angelo, who lives in Chermignon in Switzerland travelled to the UK to compete in the famous Whit Friday band contests with his local band.

Angelo Bearpark needed help with sight reading

Designing an individual solution for a very individual musician

As a post Lasik patient, Angelo suffers from glare caused by scarring from the refractive surgery. For this reason, we felt a photochromic lens with a multi-layer broadband anti-reflective coating was the ideal solution. Especially as sunlight in Switzerland is very bright all year round.

Angelo Bearpark of Geneva Instruments gets his glasses at Allegro Optical, the musician's optician in Huddersfield

Because Angelo now has monovision, we also had the difference in image sizes to overcome. Being more long-sighted in one eye, all spectacle corrections will make the image he sees in that eye larger as well as sharper. This potentially could have been a problem as it may have induced double vision. We addressed this problem by making the two lenses in different index materials but produced them with the same photochromic layer and multilayer broadband anti-reflective coating to match the lens surface appearances. This created a cosmetically pleasing pair of lenses and controlled the double vision.

The wider the better

The next issue to address was the field of view. Angelo needed a much wider field of view than that provided by any progressive addition lenses (Varifocals). He needed to be able to see three sheets of music on the stand clearly at the same time. Even if sat to one side when teaching. An occupational lens didn’t provide enough depth or width of visual field, so our only option was to design a completely bespoke pair of lenses, suited to Angelos very specific needs, from lyre to the conductor.

A one off
Angelo Bearpark in Allegro Optical Meltham

Having spent a great deal of time measuring lens position, the direction of gaze and head position, we were able to produce completely individual lenses. The resulting lenses provide the power for the specific distances exactly where he needs it while maintaining a wide, clear field of view. We glazed the lenses into a titanium supra frame to provide a tough and durable lightweight mount, with the added benefit of being almost invisible when on stage. The lenses also have a coating which is anti-static, scratch resistant, hydro and oleophobic, for an excellent cosmetic and long-lasting finish.

When Angelo collected his glasses he was delighted commenting that he felt he had got his eyes back. Anglo said, “I am so pleased with my new glasses. They allow me to see music over three sheets on the stand perfectly well and I can look up and see the conductor. I am able to drive in them and I can see to read. They are so much better than my old varifocals and my old degressive lenses. I can now concentrate on my playing rather than trying to concentrate on seeing.”


Musicians can present the dispensing optician with many challenges both regarding working distances and head position. But with the right approach and asking pertinent questions, these issues can all be resolved. Allegro Optical specialises in correcting musicians and we produce individual solutions to suit their needs, which are not available elsewhere.

Allegro Optical approach the musician’s vision problems from their perspective and have built up a considerable following as a result. We are passionate about the specific visual needs of musicians and presenters. By providing a range of tailor-made services including advice on eye health, optical correction on-site vision assessments, and specialist technology for those affected by reduced visual clarity.

Our clients are wide-ranging, from professional classical musicians to members of well-known brass bands. We also help music teachers and performers, TV presenters as well as keen amateur musicians of all genres and those who have taken up a new instrument later in life.

About Allegro News

Read on if you dare this halloween…..

You’re in for a scare

In just a couple of weeks’ time, we will be plastering on the face paint and fake blood, putting on pointy hats and cobwebbed gowns. We’ll be carving pumpkins into something scary or possibly even cute smiley faces. I am of course talking about Halloween, where for one night, people knock on complete stranger’s door and ask for food.

Halloween is celebrated each year on October 31. These days it’s filled with fun and games for little ones and scary and gory nights for big kids. But Halloween wasn’t always like this.

Hallo who?

So where did Halloween come from? Halloween has roots in age-old European traditions. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints. All Saints Day soon incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain.

The evening before All Saints Day was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns. Around the world, as days grow shorter and nights get colder, people continue to usher in the season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

Ghostly colours.

Now I’m all up for carving a pumpkin and having a spooky time. Of course, I love to do is dress up and look as spooky as possible.  This dressing up has, in the past included changing my eyes to a wacky colour. I am of course talking about coloured contact lenses. Coloured contact lenses allow us to change our eye colour and create a look that’s subtle, bold or anywhere in between.

Xanthe and Annalee at Halloween at Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham

Coloured contact lenses allow us to enhance our everyday look or rock a crazy design for Halloween and other special occasions. Colour contact lenses are available in both Prescription and Non-Prescription forms. Prescription colour contact lenses correct Myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) or astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea), as well as enhancing or completely changing your eye colour. Non-Prescription coloured contact lenses can be worn purely for cosmetic purposes, to change our eye colour. These have no lens power for vision correction.

However coloured contact lenses can be dangerous. It is very important to get the lenses from a registered, qualified optician. They will know what is best suited for our eyes. They will talk us through how to put them in, take them out and clean them. I’ve made the mistake of not seeing a professional for coloured contact lenses and paid the price.

Halloween makeup at Allegro Optical opticians Meltham

A Spooky surprise for all the wrong reasons!

Now for story time, as it wouldn’t be a Xanthe blog if it didn’t have a story! I would, however, like to point out that before you read any further DO NOT repeat what I did. Please learn from my mistake!

The first time I used coloured contact lenses was for Halloween, pure white spooky ones. But, I made all the wrong choices in these contact lenses. The biggest mistake was not getting them from an optician. Like an idiot, I got them from a market stall (BIG MISTAKE). Lord knows why as my Mum is an optician! Not only did the lenses only cost me £4, they also came floating in a bag.  Now some of you are thinking what did my Mum have to say about all this? Well truth be told, I didn’t tell her (ANOTHER BIG MISTAKE). So, I put in my spooky contact lenses (which took a few attempts) but finally they were in and for the first 5 minutes they looked awesome but from then on it was hell! They itched, they stung, and the caused my eyes to go red. They also made my eyes water (which made my mascara leak and everyone thought was part of the look). But when I tried to get them out they would not budge!

Thankfully I was lucky enough to have two experienced and trained ladies who knew how to get them out. Thanks, Mum, Thanks, Abi.  The pain and problems lasted for weeks after, it really wasn’t worth it. So, if you don’t want an unwanted horror of a surprise, pop into Allegro Optical, at 1-3 Station Street, Meltham. It’s not far from Holmfirth or Huddersfield, and a
member of the team will get you looking spectacularly spooky this Halloween.


Seeing the signs of high cholesterol

High Cholesterol and how our optometrists can detect it

October is National Cholesterol Month, an entire month devoted to raising awareness of the dangers of high cholesterol.

Our bodies make their own cholesterol, which they need to function properly; however, cholesterol is also present in many foods. If we consume excess cholesterol, it can build up in our arteries, narrowing them and putting us at increased risk of serious health conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Blood tests will determine your blood cholesterol levels, but during an eye exam, your doctor may detect warning signs.

Blood tests will determine blood cholesterol levels, but did you know that during an eye test our optometrist can detect the warning signs of high cholesterol?

Cholesterol and your eyelids

the link between Xanthelasma and cholesterol Meltham optician

Sometimes people with high cholesterol have small deposits of fat under their skin. These deposits are called xanthelasmas and they can occur on the eyelids. They are a yellowish colour and they may appear to be slightly raised. Xanthelasma does not require any treatment and won’t cause any discomfort or other symptoms. However, once a xanthelasma appears, the discolouration will remain unless it is surgically removed. High cholesterol is not the only reason a xanthelasma may occur. If our optometrists note xanthelasma growth, they will, with your permission inform your GP as this could indicate a possible cholesterol problem.

High cholesterol is not the only reason a xanthelasma may occur. If our optometrists note xanthelasma growth, they will, with your permission inform your GP as this could indicate a possible cholesterol problem.

Cholesterol and your Cornea

Can an eye test detect cholesterol arcus and cholesterole

During an eye test, our optometrists will study the front surface of your eye including your cornea. This part of your eye is the dome-shaped, clear structure in front of your iris. You may have noticed a white ring around the outer edge of your cornea, but the colour change may also appear as if your iris has some discolouration. This white ring is called an arcus and it may appear without the presence of high cholesterol. An arcus can appear as part of the natural aging process of the eye, but anyone, whatever their age can develop an arcus from high cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol and your Retina

Fundus photography at Allegro Optical opticians in Huddersfield

As part of a thorough eye examination, our optometrists may dilate your pupils and examine the back of your eyes in detail. In most cases, optometrists can’t detect visible signs of high cholesterol in the back of your eyes. However, some retinal anomalies could indicate a possible cholesterol problem.  If our optometrists observe these or other changes they may recommend having your cholesterol levels checked. They may also refer you, with your permission for further investigation.

In Conclusion

Optometrists cannot determine that you do have high cholesterol from your eye test. Eye tests can, however, detect any warning signs that point to the presence of high cholesterol.

If our optometrists detect any potential signs that you may have high cholesterol, they will, with your permission inform your General Practitioner of their findings during your examination. Your GP will most likely order blood tests. These tests will provide your cholesterol levels, helping to determine if any dietary changes or treatment is required.


About Allegro News

Focus on our new optometrist Claire Wightman

Allegro Optical Opticians Sees Growing Success with new optometrist Claire Wightman


We are delighted to announce that Allegro Optical Opticians has appointed a new senior optometrist. Claire Wightman BSc (Hons) MCOptom, has joined our team in Meltham. Having spent nearly twenty years working as an optometrist in Barnsley Claire brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the team. Claire is already proving very popular with all our clients and is building up a firm following.

Claire, who graduated in 1998 from Aston University enjoys working with our more clinical and challenging clients. In particular, she enjoys working with older patients and possesses great confidence and proven clinical acumen. She is already proving a valuable addition to our team. Claire said “I’m looking forward to joining the team at Allegro, their passion for finding unique solutions for spectacle correction dovetails perfectly with my own desire to deliver a high-quality eye test with a bespoke personal solution to individual eye care needs’

She is already proving a valuable addition to our team. Claire said “I’m looking forward to joining the team at Allegro.  Their passion for finding unique solutions for spectacle correction dovetails perfectly with my own desire to deliver a high-quality eye test, with a bespoke personal solution to individual eye care needs.’

More choice for Meltham and Holmfirth

Our new practice in Meltham opened its doors in late March and has seen an excellent growth. It has proved very popular with the locals who have been keen to support our new venture. With Claire’s arrival, we are increasing our number of testing days and will be able to offer our affordable customer focused care to even more people. At Allegro Optical we like to put our clients’ needs and requirements first and the dedicated, friendly team in Meltham put our clients at the centre of all we do. If you would like to book an appointment with Claire call 01484 907090 and Jill or Josie will be happy to book you in

At Allegro Optical we like to put our clients’ needs and requirements first. The dedicated and friendly team in Meltham put our clients at the centre of all we do. If you would like to book an appointment with Claire call 01484 907090 and Jill or Josie will be happy to book you in

If you would like to book an appointment with Claire call 01484 907090 and Jill or Josie will be happy to book you in with either Claire, Sara or Stephen.

About Allegro Optical

Allegro Optical Opticians is a new startup optician with a difference. The business is owned and staffed, mostly by staff aged over 40 years of age. By employing older staff we have a wealth of experience to call on. We feel it is this wide experience that gives our clients a first-class experience. Our staff can empathise and often understand from their own experience, the varied eye conditions we frequently see.

Our target client is the older person who feels rushed or sometimes overwhelmed when using one of a large number of optical chains out there. We offer a more personal and less pressurised environment to the “big boys”.

See the Music

Also as far as we know we are the only opticians in the world to specialise in helping older musicians with their vision and we have a range of lenses that we have developed especially for the older musician. We have been lucky enough to have clients travel from all over the world to use our service.


Pierrepont focuses on its employees

Accountants see the benefits of good employee eye care

There are so many health and safety regulations covering our  workplace environments and eye care is no exception. Eye care at work is covered by the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations 1992 as amended by the Health. It also gets a mention in the Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002 covering screen users. Corporate eyecare at Allegro Optical The screen users at Pierrepont have been provided with a company-funded eye examination, and glasses if required. As employers Pierrepont want to support their employees by providing them with a flexible, straightforward and cost-effective eye care package. It is for this reason that they turned to Allegro Optical to provide this service. Pierrepont staff have been able to visit one of our optician’s practices to receive a full eye examination free of charge and if required, they could choose a pair of single-vision glasses from our standard range for free. Alternatively, if they wished they could redeem the value of their free pair as a discount towards the total cost of glasses from our full collection.

What can we tell from an eye test?

There are so many conditions and disorders which can be detected through an eye examination. Our eye examinations are so much more than a simple vision check and can detect signs of a great number of ocular conditions. Retinal screening for the over-40s is particularly important and among other things, it is carried out with a specialised digital retinal camera allowing the optometrist to detect and monitor many eye conditions which are particularly prevalent when aged 40 and over. Our team of optometrists will screen all our clients for signs of diabetes, various heart conditions, eye cancers of the eye, brain tumours, high cholesterol, detached retina, hypertension and glaucoma. With over 2.8 million people in the UK diagnosed with diabetes, this screening is a vital part of health and well-being. Detecting such conditions through retinal screening is quick, painless and inexpensive but could save businesses millions in absenteeism and long-term sickness.

Who needs an eye test?

In addition to all DSE users don’t forget the number of employees who will require prescription safety eyewear. Also factor in all those who will be entitled to receive eye care because they drive for work, then the vast majority of employees will be entitled to company-funded eye care. Allegro Optical provides a number of ways to provide your employees with quality affordable eye care. Many employers invite us to visit their place of work to provide on-site corporate eye care, however, this isn’t always possible. Pierrepont opted to provide their team with a thorough eye examination at our Meltham practice as it is in close proximity to their offices. We can either invoice our corporate clients directly or provide employee vouchers in advance. In the case of Pierrepont, everything was provided by way of itemised invoices saving them time and money, while ensuring they remain completely compliant with all DSE and safety guidelines.

Pierrepont see the benefits clearly

Pierrepont managing director Jonathan Hill now has an employee eye care policy in place. By stating Allegro Optical as Pierreponts chosen provider, the level of care and the accepted process has resulted in a fair outcome for both the company and its employees. Jonathan Hill uses Allegro Optical corporate eyecare for his firm Pierrepont Accountants Jonathan said it is reassuring that the health of our employees’ eyes is in the capable hands of Allegro Optical who provide a professional invaluable service. Allegro Optical provide an affordable and flexible eye care solution for the workforce: ensuring your complete legislative compliance. Our unique service provides employers with peace of mind, protecting your business’s most valuable assets (your employees). We give professional advice to DSE users to help reduce eye strain and headaches, which can, in turn, lead to improved productivity. We also take part in wellbeing days at your premises alongside other participants, such as bespoke well-being specialists, audiologists providing hearing and noise assessments, and ergonomic workplace specialists. To find out more send us an email via our via our website or contact us directly on Tel; 0113 345 2272 or visit us in our Meltham practice near Huddersfield at 1-3 Station Street, Meltham, Holmfirth, W Yorkshire, HD9 5NX 01484 907090 For more information about Pierrepont Accountants and their services visit
About Allegro News

Dyslexia Awareness Week and visual stress

See clearly through colour


This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week and it runs from Monday 2nd October to Sunday 8th October 2017. Bearing that in mind we thought what better opportunity for us to mention our Visual stress assessment service.

The symptoms of visual stress can be varied and include headaches, eye strain, a feeling that the print is moving, or that there appear to be rivers running through the print. Both children and adults can suffer from Visual stress and it can be very frustrating.

Visual stress can be caused by a number of conditions including Dyslexia, but it is not the same thing. Dyslexia is a term used to describe specific learning difficulties that affect the ability to learn to read and spell correctly.

Visual stress assessments

At Allegro Optical we provide Visual stress screening for children and adults.

If you think you or your child is affected by Visual stress signs to look for include;

Moving closer to or away from the page or frequent changing of position.

Excessive blinking

Looking away from the page.

Rubbing eyes.

Tiring quickly.

Poor concentration

Short attention span

Poor comprehension of reading text.

Losing place easily.

Re-reading the same line.

Skipping lines or words

Reading slowly or hesitantly

Avoiding reading.

Misreading words.

Poor spelling.

Eyestrain especially when working under bright lighting.

Reading on white paper can be uncomfortable.

Reading speed is slower than expected.

Glare from bright objects.

Preference for reading in dim light.

Eyestrain when working on a computer.

Unequal spacing when writing.

Difficulty writing on a line.

Difficulty when reading music or making out numbers.

Headaches from computers, reading, and lighting.

Frustration and low self-esteem

What to do

If you have noticed that you or a child is doing any of the above, it is a good idea to arrange an eye test to rule out various other causes – it could simply be that glasses or eye exercises are needed.  However, if this behaviour persists, you or the child may be suffering from Visual stress.

A coloured overlay assessment is carried out only after a full eye examination and after the appropriate spectacles or exercises have been prescribed.

If Visual stress is identified colour is sometimes used to alleviate the symptoms. Other learning difficulties such as Dyslexia can sometimes be helped with colour.

Visual stress is found to exist in many conditions including:



Photosensitive Migraine

Photosensitive Epilepsy



Head Injuries

Multiple Sclerosis

What are coloured overlays

Reading with colour at Allegro Optical in Meltham

Sheets of transparent coloured plastic are placed over the text and can alleviate some of the Visual stress, making reading more comfortable.

At Allegro Optical we can assess our clients to see if they will benefit from coloured overlays. A colour assessment will be carried out in practice, usually by one of our qualified dispensing opticians.

If you or your child would like to be assessed, a full eye examination, including extra tests to check the binocular vision status of the eyes, will be required.  Please call Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham, near Huddersfield and Holmfirth on 01484 907090 for more information