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Continued support during the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown

Allegro Covid-19-response - o zone generators

Keeping our clients safe and well during the Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Firstly, Steve and I hope you, your family and loved ones remain safe and well in these difficult times. We’ve attempted to write this post several times over the course of the last week. But quite frankly the situation was changing quicker than we could keep up with. I don’t think any of us ever in our wildest dreams thought that we would find ourselves in a situation like this. We’ve literally been making decisions on a day by day basis. Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having a huge impact on all of our lives. For the Allegro Optical team it has been a very stressful week full of uncertainty. On Monday morning, we made the very difficult decision to cease all routine eye examinations and we sent Steve home to self-isolate as he falls into a vulnerable group. 

Emergencies only

At that point, we still hadn’t received any specific advice or guidance from our governing bodies or NHS England. However, both Steve and I felt very strongly that by continuing to provide routine eye examinations, we would be putting our patients, our team’s and everyone’s families at risk. It is impossible to conduct an eye examination while maintaining a 2-metre distance. It isn’t that we feel that vision problems are generally not important. On the contrary, but, very few are instantly sight-threatening. Steve, Optom Amy and I compared the risks of discontinuing routine eye examination with the risks of Coronavirus (Covid-19) continuing to spread unchecked. Most things, we felt, could and should be delayed by a few weeks or months, particularly if it means saving lives. Our skeleton team did an amazing, but very difficult job, making huge personal sacrifices to try their best to keep us safe and well. We are truly grateful and we will show our appreciation at some point in the future. But, for now, as a community, as many as possible need to stay at home, both to help protect the NHS and potentially saving 1000’s of lives.  

Professional guidance

We finally received some Coronavirus (Covid-19) stating thatguidance that we are a key service on Wednesday. But we have been advised to avoid face to face contact unless absolutely necessary. As a result, we have further reduced the skeleton team, now without a physical optometrist cover. We will still be here to support you, our community and our patients, albeit in a slightly different way to what we are all used to.  Most issues can be sorted out over the phone including helping your relatives or dependents. We will continue to provide a telephone consultation service for anybody who has an urgent eye problem. This could be related to a sudden eye health issue such as loss of vision, a sudden change in an eye health condition or loss of glasses or contact lenses required to fulfil every day tasks. For anything of this nature, please call your local practice and one of our team will be ready to assist you. For physical spectacle problems, we are available every day BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. While practising social distancing, we will be available to repair your glasses. We will also try to replace any essential and Emergency Services prescription eyewear.

Continued support

Within the past week, we have endeavoured to contact all our patients and offer additional contact lenses. We have tried our hardest to get spectacle orders completed and delivered to patients who need them the most. If you are one of the ones we have not been able to get hold of, please call us. We will do our best to help you.

KEEP YOURSELF SAFE.

We will do our utmost to send out or deliver glasses and contact lenses currently being manufactured. We will order replacements, offer repairs, supply solutions and drops, chase up referrals and offer advice as effiently as possible.  If you have any concerns about your eyes or your eye care, please contact us by telephone on Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 90709 or via https://www.allegrooptical.co.uk/contact/ in the first instance.  Please do not come to the practice unless you have been given an appointment to do so.  When no one is at the practice, all forms of communication will be diverted to our home. This is to enable us to offer support for longer hours. If no one answers the phone, please do leave a message and either Steve or I will get back to you ASAP. However, this may take a little longer than normal. All problems will be triaged for urgency with priority given to those who are front line key workers with significant visual defects.  Advice will be given to all remotely where possible, utilising photos and video calls where appropriate. 

Outstanding Orders

If you currently have glasses or contact lenses on order, we will contact you when they arrive to discuss options. If an order has been here for a while, please contact us. Both of our glazing laboratories are now only working with a skeleton staff to maintain distancing. Glasses and contact lenses may take longer to arrive than normal due to the reduced workforce. Any balance to pay should be paid by phone or BACs. Following payment, we are offering a doorstep collection or delivery service or alternatively can post any glasses via royal mail. Please return to the practice when normal service reviews to have the glasses fitted properly.  If you need to order any contact lenses, drops or solutions, please contact us. We can arrange for this to happen by post. Currently, any regular auto shipment of contact lenses direct to home are unaffected. If this situation changes, we will update you.  Steve or I  will try to post regular updates and we will, of course, be in touch when we look likely to re-open. 

Thank You for your continued support

We would like to wish all our customers and staff all the best in such difficult and worrying times. Please stay safe, follow all the government guidance relating to Coronavirus (Covid-19). Most importantly take care of yourselves and each other. The whole team at Allegro Optical look forward to seeing you again as soon as it is safe to do so.  Finally, Steve and I would like to thank our amazing teams, Amy, Gemma, Josie, Jill, and Niamh in Meltham and Sara, Claire and James in Greenfield, Audiologist Kevin, Podiatrist Anne and our often invisible but extremely important support team of Abi, Xanthe, Helen, Zac and Sean. We are very grateful and proud to have you here and to call you our friends. You have worked tirelessly in very difficult circumstances. You have all been such an amazing tower of strength over the past few weeks. Thank you, from Sheryl and Steve  
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Audrey Hepburn or Mr T – Why I love bling

Xanthe's frame of the month

To bling or not to bling – Now there’s a question

I personally love a bit of bling, but let’s be honest who doesn’t? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going all out Mr T, (now there is a man who likes his bling!),  but I do enjoy the odd sparkly earrings and blingy necklaces (and thanks to a recent proposal, I now get to wear a nice sparkly ring too!) and channelling my inner Audrey Hepburn at Tiffany’s (I know a very subtle look). So, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that one of my favourite brands we stock is Murano which of course some of their frames feature Swarovski Crystals which let’s be honest need I say more!

Audrey Hepburn and Mr T love their bling
Audrey Hepburn and Mr T – Now there’s a pair!

 

We’ve established I love bling, but that is not the only reasons I love Murano it’s also a brand that is both stylish and elegant (just like me…unless it’s washing Wednesday then it’s more comfy and clean kind of look). Another thing  I love about Murano is that they are always keeping up with trends and fashions. They are constantly expanding their range to offer new and exciting styles. They offer traditional through to trendsetting styles with some of their frames of course featuring Swarovski Crystals! (I like to think of it as we are bringing a little Italian style and glamour to North Yorkshire) Now that I’ve explained why I love Murano so much maybe I should explain who they actually are.

 Murano – Italian bling

Murano eyewear is an Italian company that is based in England which began in 1998 (I was 6 then by the way) and since then has become a successful trading well-established supplier of Italian design frames. They supply high-quality products solely throughout the UK & Ireland. (Lucky us!) Murano has grown not only in reputation for their high standard of quality and their attention to details but for their glamour’s styles and uses of colours, frame settings and use of Swarovski Crystals.

Murano eyewear uses very subtle bling
The gorgeous Murano Caserta

So, whether you’re looking to add a bit of style and elegance to your day to day look which I especially love the Murano Caserta or have a glamour’s extra pair of frames for special occasions the Murano Savona would be perfect and so look no further than our Murano range.

Murano Savona
The beautiful Murano Savona

Just ask our lovely team located in Meltham or Greenfield, Saddleworth to help you find the perfect look.

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To all our customers and anyone in need of eye care during Covid-19 pandemic

Allegro Covid-19-response - o zone generators
To all our customers and anyone in need of eye care  In the midst of the current Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, we have decided to take extra measures going forward to protect our customers and our team members from unnecessary exposure. We will now only provide emergency and urgent eye care only to help keep minor eye care OUT of the hospitals at a time of need. We will be open, by appointment only, to provide emergency eye care FREE of charge and we will keep doing this as long as we can!  Eye examinations We will remain open for emergency and urgent eye care only, which will be strictly by appointment only. We believe that under the current circumstance providing routine eye examinations is no longer responsible or sustainable. To protect people in vulnerable groups (older people and those with underlying health conditions) we feel we need to reduce close personal contact and maintain social distancing. If you have any concerns about your eyes please call us on either Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090 when we can discuss the best course of action by phone first or via our contact us page. Please do not attend either of our practices for any reason if you are experiencing any symptoms linked to the virus (Fever, increased temperature, persistent cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, tiredness, aches and any flue like symptoms) If you are experiencing an eye emergency and have any Covid-19 symptoms you should call 111. Glasses orders In most cases, if you need prescription glasses ordering or a repair we can help, but we ask that you telephone us first. For prescription issues, broken glasses queries or concerns please phone us there are new measures in place that can help you. We will discuss your options and decide a course of action to minimise in-store contact time. We can also arrange for glasses to be posted or delivered to a safe distance. Repeat orders can be placed by phone or via info@allegrooptical.co.uk. If you have any outstanding spectacle orders we will contact you to arrange delivery.  Contact lenses For reordering contact lenses or concerns regarding updating your prescription, please contact us and we can discuss the new measures. We can arrange for contact lenses to be posted to your home address.  In-Store Precautions We are following the latest government guidance to protect staff and clients when in-store. Should you have any concerns relating to these measures please telephone us. Thank you for your support and understanding at this challenging time. Stay home and stay safe  from Sheryl, Steve, Amy, Sara and the rest of the team
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Some things to thank Mum for, by Xanthe Doe

Xanthe and Sheryl Allegro Optical

It’s nearly Mothering Sunday, and Xanthe looks at some of the things she could thank her Mum for

It will soon be Mother’s Day and up and down the country lots of lovely Mums will be spoiled by their loved ones. Whether it’s with cards, flowers, chocolates and best mum ever teddy bears, we all want to say thank you. Now usually when I talk about public holidays, I talk about the history of these days. I talk about why and how we come to celebrate these holidays and customs. However, I decided to be a bit different from today’s blog. Instead, I’ll talk about the things we inherit from our Mums (and Dads). Allegro Optical optician Mother and daughter team Sheryl and Xanthe Doe We all know that we inherit things from our parents like hair colour, skin tone. Or the shape of our noses, ears, eye colour, even toes! As well as inheriting bodily features, we can also inherit things like eyesight. Or even eye disorders and some medical conditions that can be present from birth or develop in later life. Now, because we are an optician, I’m going to tell you just a few of the eye-related conditions you could inherit from your parents. I’m going to tell you about 3 of our most common hereditary eye conditions.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve becomes damaged. This causes problems with the connections from the eye to the brain. This damage is usually caused by fluid building up in the front of the eye, causing increased pressure inside the eye itself. Glaucoma can lead to loss of vision if untreated. It can also affect anyone at any age, but most commonly is diagnosed in adults in their 70s and 80s.

AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects the middle part of your vision. It can cause issues with your day to day life, like reading and recognising faces easily. It usually begins to affect people in their 50s and 60s. Although the exact cause of AMD is unknown it has been linked with a family history of AMD, smoking, high blood pressure and being overweight.

Myopia

Myopia (Short-sightedness) is a very common eye condition, where distant objects appear blurred and close objects are seen clearly. It affects 1 in 3 of us and is becoming more and more common. Myopia can range from mild to severe. In mild cases, treatment may not be needed and in severe cases, the vision is highly affected. Most commonly it begins to affect children between the ages of 6 to 13. This usually occurs due to the teenage years when the body grows rapidly causing myopia to worsen. Myopia can also occur in adults too, due to it running in the family or focusing on nearby objects such as books and computers, for long periods during childhood. If untreated during childhood or even adulthood it can lead to developing much more severe eye problems such as a lazy eye, glaucoma, cataracts, or even retinal detachment.

Nearly 350 hereditary eye conditions

Now, the above disorders are just a few, but there are actually nearly 350 hereditary eye conditions alone that we can inherit and that’s not even from just our parents. These conditions can skip a generation, so you may even inherit conditions from your grandparents that your parents haven’t developed. It’s always a good idea to know both your parent’s conditions and grandparents too. Because we all potentially can inherit them, it’s a good idea to have regular eye tests even if you haven’t noticed any signs of the conditions yet. If you are worried about anything with your vision then give us a call on Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090. Also, if you like us you love your mum. How about giving her the gift that keeps giving with an Allegro Optical gift voucher so that they can spend it on some gorgeous glasses or sunglasses of their choosing. Also, follow us on Twitter @AllegroOptical. Or follow us on Instagram @allegrooptical so we can see what you all get up to with your mums today.
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An introduction to Glaucoma by Optometrist Amy Ogden

Amy Ogden Optometrist

What is glaucoma?

Amy Ogden, Optometrist at Allegro Optical Opticians in Saddleworth and Holmfirth, explaines why she likes the 3D OCT scanner so much Glaucoma is the name used for the group of eye conditions which cause damage to the optic nerve. This damage can ultimately cause sight loss. Our optic nerve is the wire that connects the brain and the eye together. It sends visual information from one to the other. There is a misconception that glaucoma is one disease, when actually there are many different types. I will touch upon a few below. 

Types of glaucoma 

Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) 

This is the most common type of glaucoma, characterised by elevated intraocular pressure and an open anterior chamber angle with no other underlying pathology. Some of the risk factors for this include; increasing age, higher intraocular pressures (checked with the puff of air test), being of Afro-Caribbean descent, being short sighted and having a family history of POAG.  Open angle glaucoma   In early stages, most people with POAG don’t have any symptoms. They are only diagnosed as part of their routine sight test, which is why it is important to keep up to date with regular sight checks. Those in late stages of POAG may notice a restricted visual field and blurred vision.

Normal Tension Glaucoma 

This is a type of POAG, however in this type of glaucoma, there are no raised intraocular pressures (IOP). Although there are no raised IOPS, there is still damage to the optic nerve, retinal nerve fibre layer thinning and visual field loss ( we can use the OCT machine and the visual field screener, along with ophthalmoscopy to help identify this). Some of the risk factors for this type of glaucoma include; those with the higher-normal level IOPS; those patients with history of stroke or diabetes (any ischemic vascular disease) and those with Raynaud syndrome – this is commonly linked to migraine.

Congenital Glaucoma

This is high IOP within the first year of life. Blindness occurs in 5/50 of all cases and reduced vision in 20/50 of all cases, it is rare, and only occurs in 1/10,000 births.

Juvenile Glaucoma

This is a very rare type of glaucoma in those individuals aged between 3 and 40. It is genetic and early onset in nature. It is not very responsive to medication and often requires surgical intervention, as it has a very rapid progression

Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma ( AACG)

Closed angle glaucoma, this happens when there is a sudden rise of intraocular pressure, which can cause damage to the optic nerve.  This is usually caused by the pupil blocking the drainage channel of the eye ( in most cases), and in the case of Primary AACG, eyes which suffer from this type of condition are anatomically different from those which don’t, putting them at a much higher risk. They tend to be shorter, have thicker lenses – which are positioned further forward in the eye, and the cornea ( the window which covers the coloured section of the eye), tends to be flatter.  Closed angle glaucoma   Some other risk factors for this type of glaucoma include; being long sighted, having a family history of this type of glaucoma, increase in age, being female, being of Asian or Inuit descent. Secondary AACG is when trauma or eye disease can cause the pressure in the eye to raise.

Secondary glaucoma

This occurs secondary due to an underlying healthy or eye condition. Types of secondary glaucoma can include –

Pigment dispersion syndrome and pseudoexfoliation

this is where the pigment from the back of the iris, is rubbed off by the front of the lens. This pigment then deposits itself in the drainage channel, eventually blocking the outflow of the fluid in the eye ( aqueous humour ), this leads to high pressure. In pseudoexfoliation, the drainage channel is blocked with a dust like substance. The dust comes from the surface of the lens capsule which is rubbed off by the continuous movement of the iris, when the pupil changes size.

Iatrogenic glaucoma

Iatrogenic means caused by a medical professional, for example during surgery, or due to steroid use.

Uveitic  Glaucoma

Uveitis is when the pigmented tissues of the eye ( the Uvea) become inflamed. It usually affects those from ages 20-59. There are different types of uveitis Anterior, Posterior and Intermediate all categorised based on which part of the uveal tract is being affected.  The way in which uveitis can cause glaucoma is numerous; the inflammatory byproducts of fluid and protein may leak into the drainage channel and block fluid outflow; Uveitis can cause secondary angle closure glaucoma due to the inflammation in the front part of the eye; Uveitis is often treated with steroids. It is this steroid use which can lead to high IOPS and damage to the optic nerve. 

Cataract

When cataracts become very advanced, they can swell and block the outflow of fluid through the eye, and cause a secondary angle closure effect. 

Trauma

Being hit in the eye may cause high pressure though inflammation ( uveitis ), Bleeding ( haemorrhage blocking the drainage channel), dislodging of the lens in the eye. Chemical burns can cause inflammation  uveitis)  Blunt force trauma can cause the drainage angle to be pushed backwards, and over a number of years, there is a pressure build up/ development of high pressure. 

Drug related 

Steroids cause the pressure in the eye to raise, and although they can be injected, inhaled, taken orally, used topically on the skin or eye, the most common way to cause IOP raise is by application locally to the eye. This is when a steroid is applied onto or around the eye, either by injection, or eye drop.  This is why those people who are using eye treatment containing a steroid, should have their eye pressures checked on a regular basis.

Neovascular  glaucoma

 this can occur when due to certain eye conditions ( such as diabetic retinopathy ), new blood vessels are created. These are small and leaky. They can grow into the surface of the eye, but also into the drainage channel, and block it, causing a raise in IOPS There are several other reasons for secondary glaucoma, but these are just a few examples.

Are there any signs of glaucoma?

For NTG and PAOG usually no, not in the early stages. AACG does cause symptoms and can be extremely uncomfortable. I have listed some of the glaucoma warning symptoms below
  • Gradual blurred vision, starting in the periphery ( outer edges)
  • Seeing halos around bright lights
  • Severe pain in the eye and frontal headache, a very red, sore eye, and nausea/vomiting

How is glaucoma detected?

Glaucoma is detected usually following a routine sight test. We check intraocular pressures using our pressure test, we can check the peripheral field of vision using our field screening test, we do a thorough examination using the slit lamp of the front and the back of the eye to look at the drainage channel and at the optic nerve using volk. We also carry out a OCT 3D scan if requested, and this can detect glaucoma up to 4 years early.  If raised IOPS are suspected we carry out repeat pressure reading; as checking pressures at a different time of day, on a different day, can also affect the measurement of IOP we obtain. If glaucoma is suspected, an onward referral to the hospital eye clinic for further investigations

How is it treated?

The aim of the ophthalmologist and hospital optometrist is then to manage the underlying cause and prevent any further damage to the optic nerve. Some of these treatments include:
  • Eye drops
  • Laser treatment – iridotomy, a small hole is made in the iris to help with drainage of fluid
  • Trabeculectomy – this is where a new drainage channel is made to improve fluid outflow 

… and Finally

Damage to the optic nerve can not be reversed, and glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, with around 60 million people living with it.  Damage to the optic nerve can however, be prevented if detected and treatment is sought at an early stage. Make sure you attend your regular sight tests, and if you have any concerns ring your optometrist for advice.   
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Optometrist Amy’s BAPAM registration is instrumental in helping musicians to see the music

Allegro Optical Bapam practitioner

As a BAPAM accredited practitioner, Amy is helping musicians to see the music

We are delighted to share with you the fantastic news that Optometrist Amy Ogden is now a registered practitioner with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM). BAPAM is an umbrella organisation for performing arts medicine, which was established at the Royal Free Hospital in London in 1984 by the late Ian James, a consultant pharmacologist with a particular interest in musician’s health and well being. The research trust which Ian James founded grew into what is now the charity BAPAM. In turn, this has grown to serve all performers including musicians, actors and dancers. We have also extended its range of services.

Allegro Optical became the first Optician in the country to gain BAPAM registration in August 2018 and we are overjoyed that Amy has succeeded in gaining her accreditation. Being both a flautist and an optometrist Amy has an avid interest in the eye, vision and music. In particular how eye disorders and disease affect a musicians ability to play and perform.

                                        Amy Ogden

Saddleworth optometrist Bapam registered practitioner for musicians eye test

Amy started in her role of Optometrist with Allegro Optical in November and here she has shared an overview of her role with us below. “My role at Allegro is extremely varied, which is one of the reasons why I adore working here. As an Optometrist, in my daily role, I carry out refractions ( checking the prescription). In addition, I  check eye health using a range of techniques. Using procedures from volk, direct ophthalmoscopy, fundus photography. I also use our 3D OCT scanning and visual field screener to check peripheral vision. I also carry out colourimetry and overlay assessments to help those who suffer from visual stress. Working with Sheryl opened up a whole new role for me. Especially as I have been able to combine my love of music and my passion for optometry”.

Vision and music-making

“I have seen first hand how musicians begin to struggle when they hit the presbyopic stage of their lives ( the stage when they begin to need spectacle corrections for reading). It can have dramatic effects on their sound quality. Especially as they tilt their head to see the music- affecting their airways. This can lead to missed notes due to poor vision.  Many struggle to see the conductor or fellow players due to wearing a near correction. I wanted to help find a solution to this. To be able to provide one pair of glasses for a musician, so they are able to see all the required distances. Working with Sheryl has allowed me to help play a vital part in this process. We have been successfully helping musicians to see the music together since I started as a resident Optometrist here in November. 

“Gaining registration with BAPAM is so important to me. It enables musicians to find us easier, and be aware there is a solution to their problem. I am so excited to see what the future holds for us at Allegro and to see how many other musicians we can help”.

A Specialist Musician’s Optician

At Allegro Optical we provide consultations at our practices in Greenfield, Saddleworth and Meltham, Holmfirth. We also offer a peripatetic service which can visit all the major musical institutions.  We can provide onsite optical solutions to all ensemble members. As musicians ourselves, we’re able to ask the right questions. We can also interpret the answers to create a truly unique pair of lenses. Using our combined optical and musical skills we are able to address and resolve the many visual problems encountered by musicians and performers.

Allegro Optical specialises in all aspects of a musician’s vision correction. We aim to return and enhance musicians playing pleasure and performance experience.  The team has over 150 combined years’ experience in the optics and entertainment industry. Whether you want advice or a practical solution call Allegro Optical in Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090 or visit https://www.allegrooptical.co.uk/

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement

Allegro Covid-19-response - o zone generators

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Allegro Optical Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement As a healthcare provider, the team at Allegro Optical Opticians are constantly striving to deliver the very highest clinical and hygiene standards possible. These standards always include regular hand washing and the cleaning of all our equipment between each client. However, given the threat that we are all facing from COVID-19, we have introduced some new measures to help slow the spread of the virus:
  • Following government guidance, we are asking that anyone with flu-like symptoms please do not to visit us. 
  • Anyone feeling unwell can rebook their appointment and we look forward to welcoming them in the future.
  • We have made hand sanitisers available to all clients and staff in every area of each of our practices. Clients are able to wash their hands if they would prefer.
  • All frames will be sanitised during the frame styling consultation, and before clients try them.
  • Frames will also be sanitised before they are put back on the frame stand. Also at regular intervals during the day.
  • Within reason, store access will be limited to one client at a time.
  • We are reducing the number of tests per day. This will allow us to thoroughly sanitise the public areas between each appointment.
  • During this time, for all collections, adjustments and repairs please telephone the store or contact us through our website to book an appointment with our qualified Dispensing Opticians, to help us control footflow. 
As an independent optician, we can offer greater control of store access to provide a less crowded service, minimising the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus. We are determined to continue delivering the exceptional service our clients have come to expect from us. We hope to see you in our stores soon. For the Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response click here
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The Best Way to Clean your Spectacles

Now I don’t want to sound patronising, but I wondered how many of you lovely readers really do know the best way to clean your spectacles? Many of us spend a fair amount of time choosing a spectacle frame, I know I do.  We all worry “Do these glasses suit me?” “Does the frame go with my colouring and face shape?”. Many of us invest in some decent lenses to ensure we have the best vision possible. But then what? So often I see people cleaning their glasses with the edge of a tee-shirt or jumper!? Or even worse not cleaning them at all, some peoples lenses are so grimey that they look foggy and some have green or even worse, black nose pads. Yuck!!!!! Read on and I will tell you how to keep your gorgeous new glasses looking brand new for longer.

Love your lenses

According to my Mum (Sheryl) there hundreds of different lens coatings out there. If you give her or my sister Abi a chance they’ll bore us talking about them for hours. They talk about things like transmission rates, residual blooms and anti-static properties, blah, blah blah!  For those of us who aren’t lens geeks, there are 2 basic types of spectacle lenses-coatings. Hard-coats (Scratch resistant) and anti-reflection (Stops you seeing your eye looking back at you). In my humble opinion, the anti-reflection coated lenses are best. They reduce reflections (a must if you use a computer) and give you crisper vision. My fiance Simon likes them for the help they give when he is driving. They help to reduce the glare of oncoming headlights.  Hard Coated lenses are a more basic lens but require similar-looking after. The hard coating is only scratch-resistant, it isn’t scratch proof. Only diamonds are scratch-proof, so I’ve heard. By knowing the best way to clean and take care of your lenses and frames you will get the very best out of your glasses and probably extend their lifetime.

How to Clean your Coated lenses

To find out if your lenses have a coating on them, look at them under bright light. If they seem to have a purple or green tinge on the surface they have an anti-reflection coating on them. Lenses with an anti-reflection coating require a bit more attention and you will probably want to clean them more often than a standard uncoated lens. This isn’t because they get dirtier, it’s simply that any marks on the lenses are much more noticeable. Xanthe Doe talks about how to clean your spectacles It’s good to wash your lenses and frame every day using warm soapy water. Always use a gentle soap (Mum always says to use any soap you can wash your face with is fine) and plenty of warm water. Gently pat your spectacles dry with a soft cloth and polish them with your cloth. For coated lenses use a special microfibre cloth as these absorb the grease from the surface of your lenses. “Why are microfibre cloths so special”? I hear you ask! Well, if you don’t use the microfibre cloth, then the grease will get smudged all around the lenses and you’ll probably end up with dirtier glasses than when you started. Don’t forget to wash your cloth regularly too. Mum is always recommending that her clients pop their spec cloths in the washing machine once a week, with the tea-towels. But never put fabric conditioner in with them. 

Don’t use tissues!

Please DON’T, whatever you do, use tissues to clean your spectacles! They are very abrasive and can damage your coating. Also, DON’T use washing up liquid to clean your lenses, it’s far too harsh and sooner or later a ‘filmy’ layer will build up on your lenses that is extremely hard to shift! It’s a good idea to keep a spray specifically designed for lenses to hand throughout the day. At Allegro Optical we use a specially formulated spray in all our practices. Our spray lens cleaner removes all traces of grease and those pesky day to day products such as hairspray,  perfume and aftershave. It even has a lovely fragrance! This spray is one of the best ways to clean camera lenses and tablet screens as well! We also have a soap-based spray if you wish to carry something a little smaller with you. At Allegro Optical we have teamed up with our lens manufacturer who provides a lovely microfibre bag for cleaning and storing your glasses. And as we said the microfibre bag can be washed in your washing machine if it starts to look grubby. 

How to Clean your Uncoated Lenses

If you have uncoated lenses or lenses with just a hard scratch-resistant coating you’ll notice they don’t require as much attention as a coated lens. Dirt doesn’t show up as much on an uncoated lens, but they do get just as dirty. It’s only once you’ve cleaned them that you realise just how dirty they really are! Xanthe Doe talks about how to clean your spectacles We advise you to wash your lens cloth every day if you have uncoated lenses. Also don’t forget to wash your frame every day, again using a gentle soap. Again pat your glasses dry with a soft cloth. You then just need to polish your lenses with your lint-free cloth. As before I recommend that you avoid using tissue as it will damage your lenses. Once a lens is scratched, scratches cannot be removed.

Love your eyewear

With all that in mind, you will now be able to look after your beautiful new glasses and get the very best out of your new eyewear. If you aren’t lucky enough to own a pair of beautiful glasses from Allegro Optical, all is not lost.  Did you know we’re the only Optician in Saddleworth and Meltham with two qualified Dispensing Opticians & three qualified Optometrists available to assist you? They all work together to provide you with award-winning eyecare and absolutely stunning eyewear.  Our optometrists can detect Glaucoma, Diabetes, Macular Degeneration, Cataract, and much more. Thanks to our 3D OCT scan they can detect these conditions up to four years earlier than traditional methods. It doesn’t just stop with the eye examination. All Allegro Optical’s Dispensing Opticians are qualified professionals and they are all registered with the General Optical Council. At many optical outlets, glasses are dispensed by unqualified staff or optical assistants. This can lead to serious errors and affect your vision. ‪Always make sure you’re tested & dispensed by qualified professionals‬.

Award-winning eye-care

In the last twelve months, Allegro Optical has scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe (My Mum) was awarded the 2019 Dispensing Optician of the Year and she was a finalist in the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020. Allegro Optical’s cutting edge approach to dispensing and their musical experience has led to our team being shortlisted for the prestigious Opticians Awards, Optical Assistant team of the year 2020 If you want peace of mind and would like to experience award-winning eyecare, or just call the Allegro Optical team on Meltham 01484 907090 or Greenfield on 01457 353100
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About Allegro News

Dispensing Optician Claire looks at the History of two Cult Eyewear Brands

Two Cult Eyewear Brands, a brief history

There are hundreds of brands associated with eyewear, but few have a history which has stood the test of time. It is always interesting to see how a company has grown. Usually from humble origins and through tough economic climates. Quality prevails and here is the history of just 2 of the quality brands we stock at Allegro Optical.

Anglo American

No one is sure when this brand came to be, but at some point around 1881 an Englishman named Stanley Druiff set off for the U.S for the procurement of fountain pens, watches & spectacles to sell back in Britain. Only the sale of the spectacles succeeded! In fact, so successful was he, that he went on to found The Anglo-American School of Optics, an educational training service. The school offered personal tuition or lessons by correspondence. In this 1902 advertisement, (Now owned by the British College of Optometrists) it claims to be the ‘Oldest School of its kind in this country’, with the aim of turning out the ‘thorough refractionist’. 

Anglo-American-College-advert-large

In 1947 the company was bought from Druiff’s descendants by optician Arthur Jenkin. With the commencement of the NHS in 1948 demand for frames increased dramatically. Imports from the U.S ceased during WW2 and resumed again in 1955. Jenkins’ son, Lawrence, left Britain in 1967 and headed for New York to learn the trade of spectacle making. He first worked as a dispenser for a high-class optical practice where he found himself amongst celebrity clients such as Paul Newman & Greta Garbo. Inspired by such clients, he went on to do some freelance design. Ultimately backed by American money, manufactured frames in volume for the first time. The business grew very successfully and by the 1980’s boasted a Park Avenue, New York practice and gained a huge following still popular today.

Lawrence Jenkins CEO Anglo American
Lawrence Jenkins CEO Anglo American Optical

Oliver Goldsmith

In 1926 Philip Oliver Goldsmith was a salesman for the large optical firm Raphael’s Ltd. He started hand-making spectacles at premises in London and established his own company to sell them at 4 guineas a pair. Goldsmith developed the first flesh coloured frame in an aim to make specs more unobtrusive. 

Philip Oliver Goldsmith with his mobile showroom and driver in the 1920s
Philip Oliver Goldsmith with his mobile showroom and driver in the 1920s

In 1936 his son Charles joined the company and it was he who recognized their true fashion potential. Ornamental frames were made to coordinate with clothing and featured jewels and metal inserts. 

During World War Two, Oliver Goldsmith was seconded by the government to make prescription glasses for the armed forces. ‘My grandfather said the most distressing aspect of work at the time was getting the “dead list” who no longer needed spectacles made for them,’ Oliver Goldsmith recalled.

The firm still produced glasses, but form was not as important as function. The gas mask spectacle was in great demand at the time – with ultra-thin temples and small diameter lenses.

Two years after the war finished, Oliver (Philip) Goldsmith died suddenly. He had kept a health condition secret from his family for some time. His son, Charles Goldsmith, who had worked at the company since the age of 16, assumed the name Oliver when he took over the business.

Charles Oliver Goldsmith trade stand

A new era

After his father’s passing, the company sold sunglasses to high-class establishments such as Harrod’s. He began advertising in British magazines including Tatler and Harper’s Bazaar. Celebrity endorsements helped their fame and it is known that before marrying, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer commissioned spectacles from them to match Lady Diana’s dresses.

Oliver Goldsmith spectacles soon became synonymous with high quality, sought-after eyewear and are still going strong today.

We have a wide selection of Anglo American and Oliver Goldsmith frames here at Allegro Optical, so why not call in and try some on? We’re sure you’ll love them!

Blog by Claire Atkinson

Categories
About Allegro Music News

A bit of a coincidence, all strings considered.

Coincidences do happen

Life is full of coincidences but can you imagine my surprise when I answered a phone call from a fellow cellist who shared not only a love of my favourite instrument but also my name and star sign. Following an internet search Cellist, Cheryl Hale contacted Allegro Optical in December 2019. She was experiencing problems seeing the music on her stand. Especially chords, accidentals and divisi parts, particularly in the case of older music and orchestral parts. As a cellist myself I understand entirely Cheryl’s frustrations. In situations such as this seeing the music becomes more of a challenge than actually playing it.

Music teacher Cheryl, who also plays the Harp, Piano and Recorder, travelled from Hertfordshire for her consultation bringing her fabulous instrument with her. Following a detailed eye examination with Optometrist (and flautist) Amy Ogden it was found that Cheryl needed a good prescription range as she plays at multiple distances. Cheryl needs a myopic correction, but the effects of presbyopia were causing problems at the nearer distances. As she explained on the phone varifocals failed to correct Cheryl’s vision at music stand distance. Especially as the stand is offset to one side. This means Cheryl is unable to look through the correct part of her varifocal to see the music clearly when playing.

Cellist Cheryl Hale buys her specialist Musicians glasses from Allegro Optical the musician's optician in Saddleworth and Meltham

A feast forza eyes

Following Cheryl’s consultation with Amy, I joined them to design a lens which would allow Cheryl to view her music clearly from the side. First Cheryl chose her frame. She settled on the rimless silhouette 5226 frame with a pretty feminine shape to compliment her facial features. The frame is perfect as being rimless it allows her to see the neck and fingerboard of the Cello unencumbered. It also provides a wide enough field to see her sheet music on the stand. I dispensed our new wider field Fogotto PL lenses but added an anamorphic component to the lens design to widen her field of view further. The term anamorphic means ”formed again” and is of Greek origin. This anamorphic component enables us to expand Cheryl’s lateral vision.

We also incorporated some prism into the lenses to help with fixation and fatigue. This is especially useful when playing for long periods of time. Cheryl’s lenses are manufactured from a 1.6 high index optical resin. The resin provides durability with minimal weight as she often plays for hours at a time. The last thing Cheryl needs is a heavy pair of spectacles weighing on her nose. 

Once fitted with her new glasses, a few weeks later Cheryl was utterly amazed by the clarity her new lenses provided. “Absolutely amazing!!!” She said; “I can’t believe the difference with your lenses. Everything is so clear and large. I really can see every single note. Thank you so much.”

Cellist Cheryl Hale buys her specialist Musicians glasses from Allegro Optical the musician's optician in Saddleworth and Meltham

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

As an independent family run business, we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs.

Now known internationally as the ‘Musician’s Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further afield. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

We treat each client as an individual because they are. It is true that no two musicians are the same, so why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

We’ve been pretty successful in helping performers to #SeeTheMusic. In fact, in the last twelve months alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards for our work in this field. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘ and she was a finalist in the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020.  Allegro Optical’s cutting edge approach to dispensing and their musical experience has led to the team being shortlisted for the prestigious Opticians Awards, Optical Assistant team of the year 2020

During March 2019, Allegro Optical was awarded the ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘, at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York. They then went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year.

Allegro Optical has been featured in many national publications including The Times, 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

If you are a musician who is struggling with their vision and making music no longer the enjoyable experience it once was, give us a call at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.