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Beautiful eyewear that doesn’t cost the Earth – By Abigayle Doe

Now you really can look good while saving the planet

We’re proud that Allegro Optical is a family run business that cares. Sheryl Doe Managing Director and Dispensing Optician has always been concerned about the impact we have on our environment. She worries about how our actions now will affect her children and grandchildren in years to come. With this in mind when Allegro Optical first opened in 2017, Sheryl made sure there was a choice of eco-friendly products available. Our first eco-friendly frames were Hemp Eyewear made in Edinburgh. It is the world’s first spectacle frame made from sustainable plant-based materials.  It is designed and manufactured in the UK, reducing its carbon footprint and lowering the air miles incurred by delivery.

Something a little different

Over the years both Sheryl and myself, Training Manager, Abigayle. Yes, I’m another of Sheryl’s daughters! We have tried hard to bring in new eco-friendly, recycled or sustainable products to both Meltham and Saddleworth.  Allegro Optical now has 11 different environmentally ethical spectacle brands.  We’re are always on the lookout for more because this means that we can help to save the Earth, without it costing you the Earth. We’ve also made sure that there are frames to suit every budget. 

Allegro Optical also plants a tree for every eco-friendly spectacle frame that is sold. Each of our eco-friendly and sustainable brands has its own unique way of helping the environment.  From Coral, Sea2see and Waterhaul, (who all reclaim ocean plastics and fishing nets, recycling them into econyl to make spectacles frames rather than leaving them in the oceans damaging both environment and wildlife).

To David Green (who is inspired by and embraces nature) incorporating natural elements into the designs of his spectacle frames, such as leaves and reeds. These frames are biodegradable when they are no longer needed. Coral even come with a trade-in value towards your new pair of Corals, so you can hand them back when you want a new look. The old frames are then recycled and used to produce another fabulous planet-friendly frame. You even get a thank you for your troubles.

We don’t just think about the frames

As well frames we try to ensure that our lenses have the lowest environmental impact possible. Whilst lenses cannot be produced from recycled materials, yet, we do use lens manufacturers from the UK,

one of which is located only 30 miles from our Meltham practice. The lenses are produced and cut in one location, unlike other opticians who buy lenses from abroad and cut them onsite. Still racking up a huge amount of air miles and diluting the local economy. We do source our lenses this way to limit our carbon footprint as well as to support the local economy and surrounding community. 

 

Saving the seas in Saddleworth and Holmfirth

Our regular readers will know all about our love of local producers and suppliers. Likewise, they will also know that we like to protect our planet. From the low impact Hemp Eyewear to the handmade natural cotton-based acetate frames from David Green. From the recycled frames from Sea2See, Waterhaul, Coral and frames created from biodegradable plastics, the list is vast.

By stocking our frame selection responsibly we are helping our planet and respecting our environment. Where possible we are reducing air miles by sourcing British made frames and lenses and in turn reducing our carbon footprint. In doing this we are also supporting the local and British economy as a whole. Not a bad decision in what can be described as a particularly difficult and uncertain time for the UK.

We care about your eyecare and eyewear

We are passionate about all forms of ethical eyewear. If you would like to know more about eyewear with a conscience, or you would like to own a beautiful pair of ethical spectacles contact Allegro Optical. The home of beautiful eyewear that doesn’t cost the earth. If you would like to try ethical eyewear call, Greenfield, on 01457 353100 or Meltham on  01484 907090

 

 

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About Allegro

Janet’s Spectacular eyewear styling journey

From Boring Binns to Glorious Glasses 

We recognise that selecting new glasses is a pain for most individuals. In most other circumstances, you’re left to “self-select” your eyewear from a dizzying assortment of potentially thousands of options. This merely increases your chances of selecting the incorrect frame! Now combine the new spectacle frame dilemma with a very strong prescription and you have a recipe for disaster.

It was in early May that Janet approached us having heard about the Allegro Optical Eyewear Styling approach to choosing new glasses. Having purchased new glasses a few months earlier from a local competitor Janet was disappointed with her appearance in the glasses. Her lens thickness and her quality of vision correction. 

At Allegro Optical, we provide a more refined method of purchasing eyewear. Our Eyewear Styling Consultation enables our registered dispensing opticians to help our clients select new glasses. It is intended to alleviate the frustrations and inconveniences that come with selecting new glasses. Our individual approach saves clients considerable time and effort. It also eliminates the random and often disorderly approach to selecting new glasses. It will make the entire purchasing experience more pleasurable and gratifying. Eyewear styling clients receive expert guidance and recommendations to suit their personality, colouring, face shape and visual needs.

Time to show Janet’s true colours

After a few minutes of discussion with Janet, we were able to get to know her style preferences and attitude to colour. We then analysed Janet’s colouring and facial features, took some facial measurements and discussed her lens preferences. Our aim is to provide clients with a calm and pleasurable experience. We help them to enjoy the process of trying on frames from our hand-curated range of eyewear. Clients can also enjoy either a great pot of tea or a cafetière of fresh coffee. Alternatively, a glass of wine or Prosecco may be more your style.

Having spent some time with Janet, we discovered that she has a creative and natural styling personality and favours a cool colour palette. Janet has quite angular features, fabulous cheekbones and beautifully arched brows which we wanted to accentuate. 

We selected six frames of the correct size for Janet to choose from, she settled on the very first one we showed her, a stunning frame by Oliver Goldsmith. A beautiful medium grey tortoise acetate with a very subtle cat-eye shape, the frame has a polished Italian acetate front, with brushed steel sides and matching temple tips.

Outside Prescriptions Welcome

Janet brought her prescription from her previous optician with her. Our Optometrist, Sara Ackroyd, checked the notated powers then we set about choosing Janet’s lenses. Janet is amblyopic, in other words, she has what is often referred to as a lazy eye and she has a very strong prescription. We settled on the thinnest possible resin lenses, choosing a 1.74 index with lenticularisation to thin the edges. 1.74 index resins are ultra-high index lens materials that are used to make lenses that are extremely thin. Perfect for Janet prescription. As Janet has quite an active lifestyle she wanted Transition lenses and favoured the grey colour change as it complimented her frames.  

On closer inspection

As Janet’s prescription is so strong she prefers to have separate glasses for reading and distance. For her reading glasses, she chose a beautiful frame by the bold Dutch manufacturer Outspoken, opting for the Outspoken OA2021. We glazed this frame with a 1.67 resin, again using lenticularisation to thin the edges. The 1.67 index lens material provides a perfect base for thinner lenses and has strong impact resistance. Again, Janet opted for a grey Transitions 8 coating so that she can enjoy reading in the sun. 

Having joined “Eyeplan” (our eye care scheme), Janet is safe in the knowledge that she has fully insured her glasses against accidental damage. The scheme also gives her unlimited eye care, whenever she needs it and preferential rates on all purchases. So it was no surprise that after collecting her first pair of glasses Janet decided to purchase some sunglasses.

Time for some fun in the sun

Janet was delighted with her reading glasses, her lens thickness and her quality of vision in them. She was so pleased, she decided to order some prescription sunglasses and settled on two pairs of Aspinal of London. Janet chose the Palmero Sunglass in two colours, the Opal and the Mink. 

While the design of these frames was inspired by the 1960s Italian glitterati culture, they still feature some contemporary elements. For a delicate designer touch, each piece is lightly decorated with Aspinal of London’s identifiable logo and branding, making these frames instantly recognisable. 

Janet opted for a very dark tinted, high index lens, with a dual surface anti-reflection coating. This helps to reduce glare and give a better cosmetic appearance. Sometimes high prescription lenses can appear to be quite thick and heavy.

Not wanting a spectacle

Now that Janet has a fantastic spectacle wardrobe, she is all set for any occasion. That said, she still wanted contact lenses for occasional use, for those moments when wearing glasses isn’t practical. Janet preferred Acuvue Oasys 1 Day Lenses as they give her the flexibility to wear them just occasionally. These lenses have a good expiry date, allowing her to keep a box for when she wants them without committing to a regular supply. Although she does have the option to have regular deliveries of just 30 pairs to her home address every three months if she wishes.

A word from the lady herself

Now Janet has a fabulous spectacle wardrobe and is enjoying her eyewear once again. We asked Janet how she felt about her eyewear styling journey with Allegro Optical. Her response was as follows;

“Too often I have felt a sense of ‘making-do’ with frames that simply fit my prescription to avoid thick lenses, with little attention to whether they suit my face or indeed have any style or flair to them. In contrast, I am delighted with my spectacles from Allegro, as encouraged by Sheryl I chose some beautifully stylish, up-to-date frames that make me look younger and feel brighter when I see my reflection in a mirror. The attention to detail in lenses so thinned-down and neatly fitted is exceptional, and the customer care has felt personal and entirely tailored to my individual needs. What more can I say? I highly recommend Allegro Opticians and am delighted to have found a local optician that I can rely on.”

Love your eyewear

Because we wear our glasses all day and rely on them to see correctly, comfort, style and function are equally important parts of the overall glass-wearing experience. It can also make choosing the right pair of glasses seem intimidating and challenging. A qualified, GOC registered dispensing optician can guide you through the maze of choosing the right glasses for you. Our dispensing opticians are trained, eyewear stylists. They are able to suggest alternatives and even make the experience enjoyable. They will find frames that fit perfectly. Frames that are suitable for your prescription and most importantly help you to feel confident in your eyewear. 

Enjoy some eye time

The process we use is geared to making you feel comfortable with your choice of eyewear, give you confidence when wearing your glasses and help you fall in love with your eyewear. We’d also like to add that eyewear styling isn’t just for the ladies! Gentlemen can also benefit from an eyewear consultation to assist them in selecting frames that match their individuality, business persona or reflect their personality. 

Glasses can help people understand you for who you are, or they can help you portray the image you want. The idea is to get the best glasses frames to project the image you want while still suiting your personality and lifestyle. That goes for ladies and gentlemen.

Book your consultation and enjoy some eye time

With our Eyewear Styling Consultation, you’ll get more personalised service and better advice. You’ll enjoy a relaxed and courteous consultation with a member of our dispensing team, instead of looking through hundreds of frames that don’t suit you or fit you well. It could also be a lot of fun.

To book your personal eyewear styling consultation, simply call us in Greenfield, Saddleworth on 01457 35310 or Meltham, Holmfirth on 01484 907090 and have a chat with one of our friendly teams.

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About Allegro

COVID Hero Dispensing Optician Kim is shortlisted for National Award

Kim had been shortlisted for the Dispensing Optician of the Year 2021 award

The teams at Meltham and Greenfield are celebrating! Our Dispensing Optician and safety eyewear specialist Kim Walker has been shortlisted for one of our industry’s most prestigious awards.

We’ve all had to adapt, opticians especially have had to change our operating practices more than ever before. It has been a challenge to continue to provide outstanding eye care locally.  Because we have all had to adhere to new operating procedures things have been difficult. In addition to delivering eye care to the local community and supporting musicians with our specialism in performing arts eyecare. Allegro Optical’s team of dispensing opticians have been dispensing safety eyewear to local NHS staff. 

PPE prescription eyewear for those who need it

Working with Bolle Safety eyewear, our team of dispensing opticians, headed by Kim, have dispensed PPE eyewear to the staff of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, St James’s University Hospital Trust and starting this month, Calderdale and Huddersfield Hospital Trusts. The team wanted to help the brave NHS workers who have been working tirelessly since COVID-19 arrived in the UK. Kim and all the team have worked long hours in all the Hospitals, seeing up to 50 patients a day. Even on Kim’s day off, she has gone to work and stayed overnight due to bad weather. 

 

Managing Director Stephen Tighe said: “I am delighted that Kim has been shortlisted for the awards. It’s a testament to her hard work and dedication. Kim has been working on the project since January and really made it her own. Her success has allowed the project to expand its reach.  From the initial clinics in Wakefield and now reaches across 3 more hospital trusts”. 

Collecting awards

News of being shortlisted in the Optician Awards comes just two months after Allegro Optical was named the SME News, West Yorkshire’s Most Trusted Family Run Eye Care Clinic for the second year running. The winner will be announced at a glitzy gala dinner on December 2nd in London. It’s sure to be a great night of celebration for optics. 

Founded Allegro Optical in 2016 the team at Allegro Optical specialise in performing arts eyecare. Investing heavily in technology and optical equipment we are proud that both of our practices are equipped with the latest Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)  Scanners.

Sheryl Doe Joint Managing Director, “Dispensing Optician and winner of the Dispensing Optician of the Year in 2019” said “ It is our mission to deliver the best possible customer experience. Our cutting edge optical technology enables us to offer our clients modern, welcoming, high-quality practices, with state of the art equipment. Our comprehensive eye examinations and our advanced optometry exams involve a complete diagnostic evaluation of clients ocular health and vision. By combining technology with a passion to deliver great customer service has helped us to grow a very successful organisation. Kim has taken the Allegro Optical values and beliefs to a new level in her work in the field of safety eyewear and we are all extremely proud of her.” 

Trust the professionals

Book your advanced optometry eye exam or a styling consultation with Kim or any member of the team call Meltham 01484 907090 or Greenfield 01457 353100. Award-winning eye care at its best.  

For a full list of nominees and details of the event, please follow this link 

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About Allegro News

October’s Frame of the Month, an Ethical Spectacle

Xanthe’s Ethical Spectacle, October’s Frame of the Month

It’s October and with the new season, we have a new frame of the month! This month’s frame is Hector, in ocean blue, produced by the wonderful Coral eyewear company. I chose this frame for two reasons. Firstly, now that summer is well and truly over, I wanted a frame that injected a little summer into the autumn season. Secondly, I love Coral eyewear as its ethos is sustainability, using materials that are either causing serious damage to the sea life in our oceans, or materials that are found at landfill sites that otherwise wouldn’t be reusable. Any brand that puts sustainability above everything else, gets a big thumbs up from me! Now, before we go any more into this fantastic brand, I first want to tell you all about our frame of the month Hector in the colour ocean blue. 

 

The first thing that drew me to this frame was the fact it’s unisex, but what kept me interested was its vivid colour. The colour is a gorgeous deep ocean blue, set in a classic style frame shape. I would team this frame with a bold eye look focusing on purples and hazel colours, finishing with a very natural lip shade. This beautiful frame design is created in the UK, with the company being based in London and Edinburgh. The designs are then sent to Italy to be handcrafted by a highly skilled team. Another amazing quality about this frame is how incredibly lightweight they are, while still feeling very robust and well built. The wonderful thing about this frame and any other Coral eyewear frames for that matter is that they are made from completely sustainable materials! Let’s find out a little more about the wonderful Coral eyewear. 

Sustainability and style

Coral eyewear was started by university student George Bailey, who was fed up with brands using non-sustainable plastics and materials for their frames. By researching more sustainable avenues George was able to create a brand and product that puts the environment above everything else. George also comes from an optical family, so has a knowledge and understanding of the industry. This has been invaluable in ensuring that the end product is as high quality as possible without compromising on quality, sustainability and style. The process to make these incredible frames is fascinating. It starts with using rescued ocean fishing nets, regenerated ocean waste and recycled plastic from landfills. Next, they clean and sort the waste to recover the nylon to create a material known as Econyl, which is then used for the eyewear frame. The frames are as strong as any other frame being made using non-sustainable materials, but without damaging our environment.  The final cherry on top of this eco-friendly cake is, if you decide you want to change your style and pick another of their frames, you can send your frames back to them for recycling as they can be recycled infinitely!  

Your vision now, our vision for the future

So if, like me, you love the look of these frames or the sound of Coral Eyewear then don’t hesitate to come in and have a look at our range of Coral frames. Take the opportunity to add some sustainability to your style. We’re also now offering a style consultation service to help you find the perfect pair to suit your style. So please give us a call in either Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090 to find the perfect match. Also, follow us on Twitter @AllegroOptical. Or on Instagram @allegrooptical. 

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Xanthe’s frame of the month for September

Xanthe's frame of the month

It’s two for one in September

After a couple of weeks off I’m back! This means we once again have a new frame of the month! This month is a bit different as it’s two frames! (now don’t say we don’t spoil you). You could say that I may be a little biased and that  I say this every month but I truly love this month’s frames!

The moment I saw them I just fell for them, hook, line and sinker! September’s frame of the month is by Caron Eyewear. Oh My in colours red & turquoise, they are just the most vivid beautiful coloured frames! Not only are the colours incredible but the shape is just so different and unique a hexagon! I mean that’s different, but it just works so well! Beautiful colours, unique shapes and a British designed frame, what more could a girl ask for? Now before I get myself all excited, let’s talk about the Caron, Oh My frames in colours red & turquoise. 

 

Be Bold

The eyewear is crafted with high quality red or turquoise acetate, they truly are beautiful bright eye-catching frames. I especially love how well it shapes the face and adds a burst of colour to your everyday or special occasion look. The frames are hand polished to give a transparent beautiful sheen that really makes the eyewear pop.

I honestly love these frames so much, they just catch your attention with their wonderful colours. The front of the frames is a compact hexagon shape, which I adore because once again it adds to the uniqueness of the frame. Everything about these frames is just so unusual! The frames team amazingly with bold lipstick giving off a striking and eye-catching look. Now although I could go on and on about these beautiful frames, I think it’s also worth mentioning the amazing designer that is behind the Caron eyewear brand. 

Meet the designer

The Caron eyewear line is created by designer Caron Kraitt; she takes her inspiration from texture, geometry and architecture. Caron Kraitt now brings her unique skills to her own brand, inspired by modern women who are not afraid to celebrate their natural beauty and femininity alongside their personal strength and independence.

Everything Caron designs are not just uniquely beautiful, but also exceptionally wearable, her designs have a strong feminine personality. The frames are crafted from combinations of some of the finest materials. All these elements contribute to the design, ergonomics, and contemporary style. Caron eyewear will naturally enhance your individuality whilst effortlessly expressing modernity and independence. 

So if, like me, you love the look of these frames or the sound of Caron Eyewear then don’t hesitate to come in and have a look at our range of Caron frames. Take the opportunity to add some bright colours to your style. We’re also now offering a style consultation service to help you find the perfect pair to suit your style. So please give us a call in either Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090 to find the perfect match. Also, follow us on Twitter @AllegroOptical. Or on Instagram @allegrooptical. 

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What will you be doing this National Eye Health Week?

Fin in trial frame small

With National Eye Health Week this month, we ask why we should look after our eyes.

Many people fear losing their vision but take very little care of their eyes. Changing this is the goal of National Eye Health Week. It’s common knowledge that eye health is important, but sometimes we need a little nudge to take action. The National Eye Health Week is the perfect opportunity to do just that. This year it runs from 20th – 26th  September. A timely reminder that our eyesight needs to be checked frequently. That means regular eye examinations.

Nearly 2 million people in the UK have severe sight loss, which can significantly affect their daily lives. Half of these people’s sight loss was avoidable. People fear losing their sight more than any other sense, yet many people fail to take care of their eye health – National Eye Health Week aims to change this!

How do I know if I need an eye test?

Our eyes should be tested every two years according to the NHS. When you haven’t had an eye exam in the last two years, pick up the phone and book an eye examination as soon as possible.

In some cases, eye tests are required more frequently. There are certain groups of people who are more likely to develop eye conditions, based on their family history and lifestyle. However, everyone needs to get regular eye exams.

In fact how about doing this eye health calculator to see your risks http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/looking-after-your-eyes/eye-health-calculator

When an eye exam is conducted, glaucoma and other eye conditions such as cataracts can be detected and treated. In fact, an optical coherence tomography scan (commonly referred to as an OCT scan)  can detect some eye conditions up to 4 years earlier. In addition to diabetes and high blood pressure, other health conditions may also be detected in an eye examination.

How to enjoy healthy eyes

We rarely consider the health of our eyes when we think about eating well, exercising, and our overall well-being. Our diet, exercise habits, and alcohol consumption all affect the health of our eyes. Colourful vegetables, leafy greens, eggs, and Omega-3 fatty acids all help the eyes. For healthy eyes, antioxidants, especially lutein, are essential.

Exercise is important, especially at an older age, as it may reduce the risk of blindness caused by conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. Smoking poses one of the greatest health risks. After ageing, it is the leading risk factor in developing macular degeneration.

Walking in sunshine

Our eyes can be damaged by the sun, so we must protect them as much as possible. In bright weather and on the ski slopes, wear sunglasses that are branded with the CE mark – this guarantees the correct level of ultraviolet protection.

Do the right thing

If you want to keep your eyes healthy, you should eat healthily, avoid smoking, and wear protective eyewear when the sun is bright. 

Good vision is crucial to a person’s well-being, independent living, and overall quality of life. During this week, charities, health professionals, and organisations across the UK will work together.  Promoting eye health and the importance of regular exams.

Don’t leave it to chance

As part of our routine eye exams, Allegro Optical looks for changes in your vision, as well as signs of cataracts and glaucoma and more serious health conditions like diabetes. If you have a particular concern our Advanced Optometry is perfect for you. Both our routine eye examinations and our Advanced Optometry are performed by our experienced and friendly team of optometrists and typically take between 45 minutes and an hour. 

To book your Allegro Optical eye examination, please call us in Greenfield, Saddleworth on 01457 353100 of in Meltham, Holmfirth on 01484 709070 book your appointment online or pop into your nearest branch today

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Music News

Unable to focus on his music, Bob was going tuba loopy

Bob Hallett Eb Bass

When Bob was unable to focus on his music he contacted the musician’s optician

Making Music has been challenging for us all over the last eighteen months. Many people have been furloughed and others have had to deal with homeworking. Some of us have continued to go into work but in a very different socially distanced environment.

Musicians all over the world have stayed at home during the COVID 19 lockdown. Slowly and thankfully, we are beginning to leave behind the restrictions of mask-wearing, social distancing and hand sanitising. Life is starting to return to ‘near’ normal. As a result, we have seen a steady stream of musicians in practice. In fact, we’ve been so busy, we’ve not really had time to produce many case studies.

Retired military bandsman and Eb Bass player Bob Hallet, is an old friend of MD Stephen’s and was finding playing very problematic. Bob currently plays for Cleethorpes Band, one of the oldest in Lincolnshire, with a history stretching back to 1880. Focusing on the music on his music stand had become a real challenge for Bob. So was looking up and seeing the conductor. Bob was finding that his bifocals were just not up to the job. As a result, he contacted Allegro Optical to see if we could help.

Looking for a solution

Bob came for a performers’ eye examination in early June. He explained that he was having problems seeing his music on the stand in rehearsals. Also focusing on the conductor was difficult. Bob found the music became clearer when he moved his music stand closer, but this wasn’t practical when playing the tuba. The line of his existing bifocal lenses was also causing problems and got in the way when Bob was playing. All in all, it wasn’t an ideal situation.

The Exam

BAPAM registered Optometrist Sara Ackroyd conducted a thorough eye examination, followed by a series of Optical Coherence Tomography Scans to help her see what was going on beneath the surface of Bob’s retinas. The OCT scans provide Sara with a picture of the layers of Bob’s retina. Layers that can’t be seen on a retinal photograph. Sara was able to produce images of the many layers of Bob’s retina and also to measure the thickness of those layers. By using the OCT images, Sara could also examine Bob’s optic nerve head at the back of the eye and evaluate any disorders of the optic nerve.

Following the OCT examination, Sara conducted a full visual field analysis to determine Bob’s entire field of vision. This measured Bob’s central and peripheral (side) vision. Sara created a map of Bob’s visual fields of each eye individually, allowing her to detect any blind spots (scotomas) as well as more subtle areas of dim vision. 

Once armed with all the above information, Sara was able to calculate the perfect prescription to help Bob see his music on the stand clearly and see his conductor with ease. It now fell to dispensing optician Sheryl Doe to create a lens design that could provide Bob with the very best vision that Sara could prescribe, even though his Tuba obscures 75% of his visual field in his right eye, which we discovered is his dominant eye.

It’s all in the lenses

The bigger instruments of the ensemble often present a bit of a problem to the dispensing optician. Particularly as they often partially block the musicians’ view of the conductor and of other members of the ensemble. 

Sheryl dispensed Bob with our unique Fagotto CR lenses, these are perfect for any musician who plays an instrument that partially obscures their view. These lenses compensate for the field loss caused by the instrument itself.

Perfectly Framed

Bob chose a frame by the minimalistic Danish brand EVATIK. Created using a combination of high-quality lightweight materials, EVATIK produces modern yet masculine frames. Frame styles include full rim, semi-rimless and rimless modes in acetate, stainless steel and titanium. Perfect for his cool, muted colouring, Bob opted for an EVATIK E9178 in Charcoal, by choosing a supra frame, Bob maximised his field of view allowing him to see clearly to the very edge of the lenses. 

The verdict

Bob collected his new glasses a few weeks later and was delighted with the clarity his new lenses provided. Having brought his instrument with him to his collection appointment, Bob was able to check his vision with the glasses in practice. We set up the music stand and placed some sheet music on it to check his vision. Before the appointment we had asked Bob to choose some less than perfect sheet music, the tattier the better. We wanted to check that the correction worked in less than ideal situations. Most musicians are familiar with trying to read old music on faded paper, or music with lots of scribbled notations. Bob managed well and could see all the key signatures, accidentals and dynamics with ease. He could even make out the old faded notations.

A few weeks later we contacted Bob and asked him how he was getting on with his new glasses. Bob’s response was I think we all start to struggle with our eyesight as we mature but as a musician, we face challenges that optometrists seem unable to understand let alone solve and that’s why I took a trip down Meltham and to see my old comrade ‘Steve’ from my army days.

The comprehensive eye test was unusual as I took my tuba. Sara spent a long time in the playing position discussing, adjusting, checking and rechecking so that I could focus fully on an entire sheet of music and observe the Musical Director without the lag of refocusing which was one of my main issues.

In short, I’m extremely happy with my new glasses and I can highly recommend that any musician struggling with eyesight issues make a trip to see them.”

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

As an independent family run business, we are gaining an international reputation. Both 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 have 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 two years alone we have scooped no less than six national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year 2019 Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 Dispensing Optician of the Year and this year the business was awarded West Yorkshire’s Most Trusted Family Run Eye Care Clinic for the second year running. 

Allegro Optical has been featured in many national publications including The Times, 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman magazine 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.

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About Allegro Music News

The Times They Are a-Changin’ as Elizabeth Holmes joins the Allegro Optical Optometry team

Liz H Optometrist Allegro Optical the musicians optician with OCT in Meltham

Elizabeth Holmes joins the Allegro Optical team

As Bob Dylan famously sang, “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and that is certainly true here at the Musicians’ Optician. No one could deny what a turbulent few months we’ve all experienced. The team has kept incredibly busy throughout the pandemic. As a result, we have needed more hands to the pump as Allegro Optical continues to grow. 

The team continues to grow

We are thrilled to welcome our new Optometrist, Elizabeth Holmes, to join our optometry team. Elizabeth graduated from the University of Bradford, in 2008. She then worked as an optometrist in Bradford, Girlington, Otley and Ilkley. Elizabeth later became the resident Optometrist at Tunnacliffe and Lambert Opticians in Bradford and Farsley.

Elizabeth has completed the  Certificate in Glaucoma from The College of Optometrists, allowing her to manage stable glaucoma patients care in the community. She has also gained higher professional qualifications in Minor Eye Conditions allowing her to participate in both the local PEARS (Primary emergency acute referral service) in Meltham and the CUES (Community Urgent Eyecare Service) in Greenfield. Elizabeth is now working towards her BAPAM (British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) accreditation. Allegro Optical is the first and only optician in the UK to become registered practitioners of the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

More than meets the eye

In her spare time, like the rest of the Allegro Optical team, Elizabeth loves to make music. She is a talented Pianist and Clarinetist and she has taken advanced clarinet lessons at the Royal Northern College of Music. Elizabeth was a member of the City of Hull Youth Symphonic Windband before going to university. While studying for her optometry degree  Elizabeth was the Principal Clarinettist in the University of Bradford Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her orchestral commitments, Elizabeth and her husband were part of a band that played for events and weddings.

When not at work or making music Elizabeth enjoys swimming, Pilates, aerobic style exercise to keep fit and gardening. 

Elizabeth is registered with:

  • General Optical Council (GOC)
  • Association of Optometrists (AOP)
  • Ophthalmic Performers list OPL
  • National Health Service (NHS)

Elizabeth will be initially offering appointments on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays. If you require an appointment with Elizabeth just give us a call. Alternatively, Sara, Gemma and Elizabeth C are all still available to conduct your eye examination.

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Frame of the month-August

Xanthe is being rather outspoken in this August’s Frame of the Month

Xanthe Allegro OpticalIt’s August (where has this year gone?!). A new month and that can only mean one thing, a new frame of the month! I am very excited about this months frame. Particularly as it’s a unisex frame so it’s brilliant for our ladies and our gents! This month’s frame of the month is our Outspoken OA1819 in Colour 4.

I was drawn to this frame by the unique combination of colours. The hues are so different but still work so well together. From the moment I saw it, I knew that this frame would need to be featured as our frame of the month. I just think it’s got such a different and unique style, while not being too over the top.

One reason for us using outspoken as a brand is that they do offer many different unique and wonderful frames, in lots of fabulous colour combinations, but before talking about them let’s talk about the frame OA1819 in Colour 4.

Layers of colour

The frames start with a layer of mixed purple and blue, flowing to a segment of orange with a running clear section flowing to a green segment then finishing with a beautiful orange layer.

It’s a colour combination I’ve never seen in a frame before and honestly, never would’ve thought would work, but there’s just something about this frame that stands out while still blending so well together.

I also love that the shape of the frame still has a very classic style and feel to it. While the colours are different the style of the frame is kept very simple, giving the wearer the option to wear it either as an everyday frame or for special occasions. Either way, this frame is bound to bring many compliments. 

Stand out from the crowd

Colourful, Idiosyncratic, and sometimes challenging. That is the identity of Outspoken to make you stand out when you wear their glasses! Founded in the Netherlands and established themselves in the global optical market distributing in the US, Europe, Australia, Canada, South America and the UK. Outspoken tries to emphasize the personality of the wearer.

Both men and women can show their individuality with the unique colour combinations offered by outspoken frames. The wearer of an outspoken frame can proudly and confidently say no other brand has the same colour combinations as outspoken has for their frames.

Different acetate plates are combined into unique colour combinations. The plates are then laminated in their own factory to create colour combination frames. The designers carefully select different materials from various resources to create a unique frame for the wearer. Not only do these frames have amble uniqueness and style but they also offer comfort and reliability.

Find your perfect pair

So if, like me, you love the look of this frame or the sound of this brand then don’t hesitate to come in and have a look at our range of Outspoken frames. Take the opportunity to add some unique colour to your style. We’re also now offering a style consultation service to help you find the perfect pair to suit your style. So please give us a call in either Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090 to find the perfect match. Also, follow us on Twitter @AllegroOptical. Or on Instagram @allegrooptical. 

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Lenses are all the same! Aren’t they?

James Brooks examining a lens after surfacing

Why are lenses so expensive? They’re just bits of plastic, aren’t they?

These are questions we are often asked. The simple answer is no, lenses are not all the same. In this blog we will try our best to explain the difference between the many different types of lenses.

Different types of lenses: Digital, HD, and stock.

Have you ever wondered how your spectacle lenses are made? Advanced technologies can be used to make lenses in two main ways.
  1. Pre-manufactured Lenses
  2. Custom Manufactured Lenses

Pre-manufactured Lenses

These types of lenses also commonly known as “Stock” lenses are manufactured to a standard prescription and all lenses made to that prescription in that way are exactly the same. Once manufactured the lenses are polished. These lenses are pre-manufactured with a certain base curve, prescription and blank size. Lenses can then be coated with anti-glare, anti-scratch or both, and packaged for glazing into a frame. Once the lens is finished, optical or optometry retailers will offer these lenses for customers based on their visual needs.

Custom Manufactured Lenses

A surfaced lens is created by taking a blank piece of plastic (without any prescription) and grinding the prescription into the plastic. These lenses are custom made and are manufactured with a custom base curve, prescription and blank size.  Digital lenses utilise state-of-the-art technology to enhance quality and performance. In our digital lenses, we use camber technology to create a single vision lens that delivers superior clarity and performance. With 1/100th diopter precision, this technology allows for ultra-clear vision with minimal edge distortion. Free form lenses provide the absolute best optical quality of any digital lens. A revolutionary digital manufacturing process, Free Form uses computer-aided design and surfacing to produce high-quality, customised lenses providing the viewer with an unsurpassed visual experience.  

Just like a HD TV

Remember the first time you saw high-definition television. Do you recall how your old analog TV picture seemed pixelated and blurry? With high-definition, you can see more detail and colours appear brighter, shapes are sharper, and everything is in sharp focus. Just imagine how your glasses would feel in that situation. With your current lenses, you can probably see fine, much like watching analogue TV was fine, but what if you could see in high-definition? Try our free form digital lenses if you are looking for a better clarity of vision. Just imagine how your HD TV screen will look then! Pre-manufactured Lenses Benefits:
  • Ideal for single vision prescriptions (SPH: +3.75 to -6.00 & CYL: 0.00 to  -2.00)
  • Turnaround times that are faster (convenience)
  • The least expensive (affordable)
Negatives:
  • Size restrictions for prescriptions and blanks
  • A lens with average optical quality due to internal stress
  • After manufacturing, different parts of the lens  harden at different rates, resulting in minor vision distortions. Especially noticeable for certain prescriptions and  eye sensitivity.
  • Measures OC/seg height, pantoscopic tilt, wrap angle, and back vertex distance aren’t taken into account

Custom Manufactured Lenses

Benefits:
  • With this method, we can create almost any prescription (high SPH, CYL, ADD, Prism, etc.)
  • Have a better optical quality, since they are not subject to internal stress
  • Custom prescriptions with base curves and OC/seg heights
  • Adaptable to any frame shape with wrap for less distortion (any size blank can be made)
Negatives:
  • Custom lenses cost more, but they are well worth the extra cost due to improved visual performance

Free Form HD Lenses

Advantages:
  • Night and low light vision is exceptional with free-form lenses. Some sources of light at night, like headlights, can cause glare and halo effects.
  • Exceptional contrast perception: Freeform lenses enhance vision
  • Exceptional colour vision: By optimizing the optics inside your lenses, you’re able to enjoy brighter, more intense colors
  • With this method, we can create almost any prescription (high SPH, CYL, ADD, Prism, etc.)
  • The optical quality of these lenses is better than stock ones because they are not stressed internally
  • Custom prescriptions with base curves and OC/seg heights
  • Prescriptions based on eyewear measurements, like pantoscopic tilt, wrapping, and back vertex distance
  • Adaptable to any frame shape with wrap for less distortion (any size blank can be made)
Negatives:
  • There is an additional cost for these high definition lenses because they were custom made, but it is definitely worth it
The stock lens is like an off-the-rail suit, the digital/surfaced lens is like getting a tailored suit, and freeform lenses are like buying a suit in your size. We offer all of these lens options to our customers, and we want to educate you about the various types of lenses that are available.

A multi-award-winning approach

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping clients to achieve optimum quality of vision that in 2020 we were awarded the SME News West Yorkshire’s Most Trusted Family Run Eye Care Clinic. In 2019 we scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Yearat a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Yearand the company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine. Sheryl has recently been named as a judge in this years SME National Business Awards Are you struggling with your vision? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.